Wheeler Peak Reopens Following Summer 2006 Fire Concerns

Wheeler Peak has reopen following fire restrictions.

Here’s the press release on access restrictions being lifted on Wheeler (which is in the Questa Ranger District of Carson National Forest)

Taos, New Mexico, July 5, 2006, The arrival of the much awaited monsoonal moisture, throughout much of Northern New Mexico, has lessened fire danger levels sufficiently to allow the Carson National Forest to reduce fire restrictions. The east side of the Carson which includes the Questa and Camino Real Ranger Districts will ramp down to Stage I Fire Restrictions effective Friday, July 7, 2006. This reduction in fire restrictions will allow these two districts to begin wood permit sales on Monday, July 10, 2006, which had been suspended due to extreme fire danger. Permits will be available at the Questa and Camino Real District offices, as well as, the Supervisor’s Office in Taos.

Stage I Fire Restrictions prohibits the building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal broiler, coal or wood stove without a permit, except within a developed recreation site where grills and stoves are provided. Pressurized liquid gas stoves, lanterns and heaters, meeting safety specifications, are allowed.

Smoking is also prohibited except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials. As always, fireworks are never allowed on public lands.

The Jicarilla Ranger District will remain at Stage II and the Canjilon, El Rito, and Tres Piedras Ranger Districts will lower fire restrictions from Stage III to Stage II. Open fires, smoking except in a vehicle or building, chainsaw use and traveling off of forest system roads are prohibited under Stage II Fire Restrictions. Wood permits will not be sold at these districts until conditions permit.

When planning a trip to your National Forest, KNOW BEFORE YOU GO, and take fire restrictions seriously. For current fire restriction information, please call 1-877-864-6985 or visit our website at www.fs.fed.us/r3/carson. For fire restrictions and other fire information for all recreation sites in New Mexico, log on to http://www.nmfireinfo.com.
Here’s the earlier article:

Here’s the press release on the closure. Wheeler is in Carson’s Questa Ranger district which is closed except for a few exceptions. One of those exceptions is Williams Lake Trail 62. This is the traditional spot where you can bushwhack up across scree to the summit. However from the press release you can not go further.
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STAGE III FIRE RESTRICTIONS ON THE CARSON NATIONAL FOREST

Taos New Mexico, June 23, 2006 – As drought conditions continue to affect conditions on the Carson National Forest as well as other areas of New Mexico, Stage III Fire restrictions will take effective Monday, June 26, 2006. Concern for public and firefighter safety has prompted the move to mitigate the danger to forest recreationists by containing visitors to areas that can be easily patrolled and evacuated in the event of a wildfire.

Under Stage III restrictions, partial closures will be enforced. Areas to remain open are as follows:

• Jicarilla Ranger District will remain at Stage II Fire Restrictions.
• El Rito Ranger District will enact total closure.
• Canjilon Ranger District will prohibit entrance to all areas with the exception of Canjilon Lakes for day use and overnight camping. Echo Amphitheater and Forest Road 151 access to Rio Chama will remain open for day use only.
• Tres Piedras Ranger District will prohibit entrance to all areas with the exception of Hopewell Lake overnight and day use areas.
• Questa Ranger District will prohibit entrance to all areas with the exception of:
Overnight Camping: developed campsites along State Road 38 where camp hosts are available.
Day Use Trails: Williams Lake Trail 62 and Red River Nature Trail 66.
Other: Taos Ski Valley and Red River lift areas will remain open as well as day use at Eagle Rock and Fawn Lake Fishing Areas.
• Camino Real Ranger District will prohibit entrance to all areas with the exception of:
Overnight Camping: Santa Barbara, Agua Piedra, Comales, Duran Canyon, La Junta Canyon and Upper La Junta.
Day Use Picnic Areas: Flechado, Agua Piedra, Amole, Las Petacas.
Day Use Trails: Agua Piedra, Indian Creek, South Boundary, Devisadero, Cordova Canyon and Elliot Barker.
Other: Middle Fork and West Fork access to the Pecos Wilderness. Forest Roads 116 and 76 from State Road 518.

“Day Use Only” is defined as 7:00 am to 7: 00 pm.

The anticipated arrival of monsoon rains and the amount of moisture this system will bring will determine the length of time the Carson will remain at Stage III. Fire Managers are predicting that unless we receive significant amounts of rain, we may return to severe fire conditions by early August.

We would like to thank all residents and forest visitors for their continued vigilance and remind the public that “thinking smart and not letting a wildfire start” is everyone’s responsibility as recreationists and land use managers.

For more information on fire Restrictions please call 1-877-864-6985 or visit our website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/carson. For fire restrictions and other fire information for other recreation sites in New Mexico, log on to http://www.nmfireinfo.com.

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