Citing severe drought conditions across southern New Mexico, Doña Ana County Fire Marshal Robert Monsivaiz asked the Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners Tuesday to enact an emergency ordinance to ban all open burning and restrict other uses of fire and ignition sources – including smoking – for the next 90 days. The action was unanimously approved.
The emergency ordinance is effective through Aug. 21, 2012, and it carries the following prohibitions in all unincorporated areas of Doña Ana County.
a. The use of campfires, except in containers consisting of a single piece of non-flammable material wherein the container has a solid bottom portion, the container has a continuous side portion of at least six inches in height, the container is adapted to contain combustible materials during the combustion, and the container is adapted to contain the resulting residual ashes and embers. The container must be used in areas clear of vegetation.
b. Open burning of vegetation or rubbish.
c. Smoking within a Doña Ana County park or campground, or within any wildland area, except within an enclosed vehicle or building.
d. Littering on public roadways/areas with ignited smoking materials.
e. Welding, or operating an acetylene, or other, torch with an open flame, except within an area that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials at least 10 feet on all sides of the equipment.
Both the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department and the Doña Ana County Fire and Emergency Service Department will enforce the provisions of the ordinance.