Rio Arriba County Commission Approves Resolution Prohibiting Open Burning

On June 18 the Rio Arriba County (RAC) Commission held an emergency meeting, in which they passed Resolution No. 2012-090, enforcing a ban on open fires within the County. According to RAC Fire Marshal, Jerome Sanchez, the resolution followed a State issued executive order, which was passed by the State’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, that put restrictions on smoking, fireworks, campfires and open burning throughout the western part of the state, including RAC. These restrictions came into play as a result of warm temperatures, low humidity, high winds and a lack of precipitation, all which present extremely hazardous fire conditions.

“This is an attempt to protect our lands and keep people safe during the fire season,” Sanchez said. “We must take every precaution.”

The fire ban prohibits all burning of open flames, campfires, trash rubbish and shrubbery until the RAC Commission determines that conditions allow for such burning again. The RAC Fire Marshal’s Office will not be issuing any fire permits until such time. According to Sanchez, at this time the Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office (RASO) will be on alert for any prohibited burning and forest patrols will be in place under the direction of several fire agencies. Fines will be in place for anyone caught burning.

To view the New Mexico Administrative Code on Air Quality Environmental Protection and to view the Violation of New Mexico State Forestry Restrictions, go to For more information, call the RAC Fire Marshal’s Office at (505) 747-6367.

-Erika L. Martinez