The Cajete fire was caused by an abandoned campfire, and they had to suspend aerial operations for an hour and a half because a drone was flying in the area. As they say,

If you fly, we can’t!

A few stupid people can cause a lot of havoc.

The Forest Service has now imposed Stage 1 fire restrictions in the area:

The decision to impose restrictions was initially based on a rash of abandoned and unattended campfires combined with hot, dry conditions and the number of visitors expected over Father’s Day weekend. And then the Cajete Fire broke out Thursday, growing quickly from 1 acre to more than 700 and now over 1,000.

Under Stage I restrictions, fires, campfires, charcoal grills, and coal and wood stoves are allowed only in developed campsites or picnic areas with existing fire rings or grills. Campfires are prohibited at all dispersed camping sites. Stoves, lanterns or heaters fueled by propane or other liquefied petroleum fuels may be used in areas cleared of flammable materials within three feet of the device if they meet manufacturer’s safety specifications and have on/off switches.

Smoking is allowed only in enclosed vehicles or buildings and developed recreation sites. As a reminder, fireworks are always prohibited on all national forests.

Stage I fire restrictions are intended to enhance public safety, protect natural and cultural resources, and help prevent human-caused fires. Several criteria are used to determine when to implement fire restrictions, including fire activity levels, current and predicted weather, fuel moisture, and the availability of firefighting resources. Additional restrictions may be required if conditions warrant.

The Stage 1 fire restrictions will remain in effect on the Jemez Ranger District and a portion of the Cuba Ranger District until Dec. 31, 2017, or until rescinded, whichever occurs first. Fire restrictions may be lifted when the monsoon season arrives and conditions improve.

Forest officials would like to remind visitors to use extra caution when recreating on all public lands throughout the fire season. Violations are punishable as a Class B misdemeanor by a fine of not more than $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations and/or by imprisonment for not more than six months.

After all the problems they have been having with unattended campfires, it’s too bad they didn’t do this earlier. Fingers crossed for the future.


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6 Responses to Stupidity

  1. A drone flying in the area? How did they know it was there…did it turn up on radar? And if it’s obstructing some necessary official action, wouldn’t someone be justified in shooting it down? Frustrating for everyone, I’d think, as if the abandoned campfire wasn’t enough!
    Still the Lucky Few´s last blog post ..Why You Should Think Twice Before Buying a New Car

    • Jean says:

      We think they should figure out a way to shoot them down If they’re interfering. That ‘s the best lesson.

  2. Rummuser says:

    I can’t for the world of it imagine some campers not being aware of the danger involved. They should be found and punished severely just as the bloke who flew the drone there, possibly to photograph!
    Rummuser´s last blog post ..Automated Response.

    • Jean says:

      They either don’t know or don’t care. They had to put out three more abandoned campfires while they were fighting the fire — in spite of the restrictions. The problem is finding the people who started the fire.

  3. tammy j says:

    abandoned and unattended campfires !!! in a FOREST???
    I say shoot’em in the knee caps!
    tammy j´s last blog post ..moving on old bean

  4. Cathy in NZ says:

    most people who do this type of thing – are the people who were watching the news, saw how the fire was destroying and say to one another “who was stupid enough to do that?” – never occurs to them, it was actually “them” – it’s like the cigarette butts here that are tossed out of a car, and even those have caused huge ground fires! Then there are the landowners or gov’t who apparently had a little fire (clearing undergrowth) get out of hand!!!

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