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Contact: Karl Pierce, 915-828-3251 ext 2300
Guadalupe Mountains National Park Restricts Smoking Due to Fire Hazard
(Pine Springs, TX) Guadalupe Mountains National Park Superintendent Dennis A. Vásquez announced that the park will restrict smoking beginning Sunday, May 12, 2013, as a precautionary measure, in light of the park's HIGH fire danger rating, which has been caused by continuing high temperatures, low relative humidity, very dry vegetation and high winds.
The following restrictions will apply:
- If you smoke, do so only inside vehicles or on hard, paved surfaces at least 30 feet from any vegetation, and dispose of butts in your vehicle ashtray or in receptacles only.
- Open flames, campfires, or charcoal or wood barbecues are never allowed within the park.
- Don't park vehicles on dry grass.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Remember, fires can start easily and spread quickly.
Vásquez stated "we have already experienced several red flag warnings and fire weather watches in the park this Spring, and forecasts are for continued drought conditions. Because of extreme fire danger, continuous days of red flag conditions, reduced availability of firefighting resources, and rapid rates of fire spread, we are taking this measure to ensure the safety of park visitors and staff, and to protect park resources and structures." Vásquez emphasized, however, "Guadalupe Mountains National Park remains open and we hope that visitors will continue to recreate and enjoy the park. We are continuing to monitor conditions and will re-evaluate these restrictions should conditions change and significantly decrease fire danger."
For fire safety tips or more information on fire restrictions across Texas, visit http://txforestservice.tamu.edu/, http://ticc.tamu.edu/ or the Texas Interagency Coordination Center at (936) 875-4786. For information on fire restrictions across New Mexico, visit www.NMFireInfo.com, http://InciWeb.org/ or call the Interagency Restriction and Closure Hotline at (877) 864-6985.
Plan before you come! Check the park's website (www.nps.gov/GUMO/) or Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Guadalupe.Mountains/), or call the Pine Springs Visitor Center at (915) 828-3251 x2124 for park information, including park conditions, closures or restrictions, weather, safety and program information, may be found on Motorists travelling past the park on U.S. Highway 62/180 may tune in to the park's Traveller Information System (TIS) radio broadcast, at 1560 AM, for up-to-date park information.
Free interpretive programs and guided hikes may be found on the Meetup page at www.meetup.com/Guadalupe-Mountains-National-Park-Meetup-Group/, on the park website or by calling the Pine Springs Visitor Center. The Pine Springs Visitor Center is open daily (except for Christmas) from 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM. Be sure to stop by and ask about the park's Junior Ranger, Senior Ranger, Junior Paleontologist, Wilderness Explorer Junior Ranger, Girl Scout Ranger or Boy Scout Ranger programs, or pick up a map, site bulletins, brochures, post cards, books or DVDs about Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Make sure to ask the staff how you can receive a 20% discount at the bookstore. The McKittrick Canyon, Frijole Ranch House, Dog Canyon and Salt Basin Dunes (Dell City, TX) Visitor Contact Stations are open intermittently. Please call the Pine Springs Visitor Center at (915) 828-3251 x2124 to find out whether they are open. For Dog Canyon, call the Dog Canyon Visitor Contact Station/Ranger Station at (575) 981-2418.