Fire Danger Emergency Declared in Roosevelt County

Portales, NM — The Roosevelt County Board of Commissioners declared a fire danger emergency in Roosevelt County today during their regular commission meeting. Effective immediately burning within Roosevelt County is pursuant to the provisions contained within Roosevelt County Ordinance 2014-03. Open burning and agricultural burning are prohibited as outlined in the ordinance. The resolution adopted today is in effect for 45 days or until May 31, 2018, unless lifted or renewed by resolution by the Commission.

The current U.S. Drought Monitor has Roosevelt County designated as D3 Extreme Drought and D2 Severe Drought conditions. The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook also reflects the drought tendency in Roosevelt County to persist.

Milnesand Volunteer Fire Chief John Mohon and Arch Volunteer Fire Chief Jay Lang both presented the fire danger emergency declaration request to the Commission. The chiefs briefed the Commission on their 2018 department responses and stated over 50,000 acres had burned in Roosevelt County.  

The ordinance contains numerous provisions. County residents can continue to utilize burn barrels with proper grates (not more than ¼” openings) installed over the tops of burn barrels. The ordinance also allows for heating and cooking stoves as defined in Section 8. The ordinance specifies applicable penalties. It states, Any person, firm, or corporation, violating any provision of this Ordinance shall be fined not less than $100 or more than $1,000 for each offense and a separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or which a violation occurs or continues. Violators of this Ordinance may also be civilly liable for damages and costs associated with responding to and fighting said fires that result from violating a county burn ban.

For more information please contact County Administration at 575.356.5307.