New Mexico – The state Forestry Division warns of a high potential for wildfires this fall and winter.
State Forester Arthur "Butch" Blazer said the fire danger is highest in southern New Mexico and the eastern plains.
The risk of fire has increased because mild fall weather followed a light monsoon season. Grass and brush is drying out and can easily catch fire.
Blazer said motorists should take care if they stop to ensure that heat from an exhaust system doesn't start a fire in roadside grass.
Motorists pulling a trailer need to make certain that chains aren't dragging on the pavement and creating sparks that could cause a fire.
So far this year, nearly 560 fires have burned nearly 89,000 acres across the state.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.