BE EXTRA CAREFUL WITH FIRES, AWARE OF BEARS THIS SPRING

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Weather forecasters are predicting a drier than normal spring and early summer in New Mexico, and the Department of Game and Fish is urging everyone who spends time outdoors to be extremely careful with fires.

Anglers, campers and hikers who use state wildlife areas are urged to check restrictions before they travel. Wildlife areas observe the same fire restrictions in place by the New Mexico Forestry Division, or in adjoining national forests, Bureau of Land Management and State Trust lands. Fireworks are banned on all 105 wildlife areas that the Department either owns or leases around the state.

Warmer weather also will bring out the bears, and campers are urged to avoid unpleasant encounters by properly disposing of trash and using “bear-aware” camping practices while in the outdoors. That includes keeping food and garbage securely stored, never storing food in tents, never cooking near where you sleep, and changing clothing that could hold odors before sleeping.

For more information about fire restrictions statewide, please visit http://nmfireinfo.wordpress.com; the Public Lands Information Center website, www.publiclands.org/firenews/NM.php; or the New Mexico Forestry Division website, www.emnrd.state.nm.us/FD.

Information about bears can be found on the Department website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us.