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Fire Restrictions Implemented by Carlsbad National Park


CARLSBAD, New Mexico—Extreme fire danger continues to affect Carlsbad Caverns National Park. As a result, effective May 25, the following additional restrictions are in effect:

  • Closure of Carlsbad Caverns Wilderness Area and all backcountry areas to day use. This includes access to all permit caves and the following park trails: Old Guano, Slaughter Canyon, Yucca Canyon, Guadalupe Ridge, Rattlesnake Canyon, Juniper Ridge, Double Canyon, and Ussery.
  • Closure of Yucca Canyon and Slaughter Canyon access roads due to tall grass in some parking areas. 
  • Open flames and cooking stoves are prohibited throughout the park. 

The following previous restrictions remain in effect:

  • Closure of Walnut Canyon Desert Drive due to tall grass in some parking areas.
  • Charcoal and wood fires are prohibited.
  • Smoking is prohibited, except inside personal vehicles.
  • Overnight backcountry camping is prohibited.
  • Permitting of overnight backcountry trips is suspended.

The following areas remain open: the main park road to Carlsbad Cavern and the visitor center, Chihuahuan Desert Nature Trail, Walnut Canyon Overlook Trail, and Rattlesnake Springs.

Extreme fire danger continues to persist due to prolonged hot, dry, and windy weather. These factors result in extremely dry vegetation that is highly susceptible to even the smallest spark.

On May 20, 14 new fires were reported within the southwest region. Nine major fires are currently active within the region, totaling over 568,751 acres. Nearly 5,800 wildland firefighters and support personnel are assigned to uncontained large fires in the Southwest and Southern and Rocky Mountain areas. The Hermits Peak Fire, the largest wildfire in New Mexico history, is now 303,341 acres and continues to threaten nearby residences. Active to extreme fire behavior is being reported on many large fires within the State of New Mexico.

These measures will be in effect until the fire danger subsides.