Federal officials say continued dry conditions and high fire danger have prompted them to toughen up fire restrictions for lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management in parts of central and western New Mexico.
The agency announced the new restrictions Thursday. They prohibit all off-road travel through BLM lands in Bernalillo, Catron, Cibola, McKinley, Sandoval, Socorro and Valencia counties.
The restrictions will take effect Friday morning. Campfires, fireworks and smoking outdoors are already prohibited.
The Carson National Forest says it will move to Stage II restrictions on Friday.
The city of Rio Rancho is also joining other agencies in closing down the wooded area along the Rio Grande through central New Mexico. All paths and ditch roads through Rio Rancho's portion of the bosque will be off-limits starting Friday.