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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Carson National Forest officials have implemented harsher fire-prevention restrictions ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the Stage II rules, which take effect at 8 a.m. Wednesday, prohibit forest visitors from lighting or attending campfires, limit smoking to enclosed vehicles or buildings, and ban the use of fireworks.

The restrictions come as conditions throughout the region remain dry.

U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Denise Ottaviano says the forest is in “very high fire danger.”

The federal agency says the restrictions “will remain in effect across the forest until conditions allow forest officials to change or lift” them.

Violating the restrictions is punishable by fines of up to $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization. A violator also can be sentenced to up to six months in jail.


Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican,