UPDATE - Santa Fe Trails Closure Extended
UPDATE — Due to the ongoing fire danger several hiking and biking trails in Santa Fe will remain closed until at least July 17. All fire restrictions, including the ban on fireworks will also remain in place beyond Independence Day.
The Governing Body voted to extend Mayor Alan Webber’s Emergency Declaration Wednesday
Over Memorial Day weekend several residents complained to council members and other officials about the closings saying they weren’t given enough notice and questioned why trails like La Tierra are closed despite not being in the mountains.
City Manager John Blair says closed trails could be very dangerous in the case of a fire.
“If someone is a half mile into those trails or a mile in, it could take hours for a fire team to get to the point that they can fight the fire. In what may be a lightning strike or a cigarette butt or a small start of a fire by the time the fire team gets to it, it could be a hundred acres,” he said. “(What) we know from the data around the fires now is that the dryness, the unprecedented winds that we’ve had, has created this perfect storm. We are now more subject to really damaging fire than we have had in the past.”
Blair says closing the trials was requested by Fire Chief Brian Moya. Blair adds that city personnel will be doing more to get the message out to residents about the closures and the reasons.
Chief of Police Paul Joye says they’ll also ask for the public’s help if they spot people where they shouldn’t be.
“Obviously we’re taking just like we did with the COVID mask enforcement, an education first approach,” he said. “We’re hoping that people are understanding, and supportive of what the city is trying to do to protect all of us as a community and we’ll adhere to the requirements of the emergency proclamation.”
The following trails and trails systems are closed:
• The Dale Ball Trails (which are accessed off of Hyde Park Road, Cerro Gordo Road, Upper Canyon Road, and Camino Cruz Blanca, including the Atalaya and Dorothy Stewart trails);
• The Sun Mountain Trail;
• La Tierra Trails;
• MX/BMX trails at La Tierra and the Metropolitan Recreation Complex (MRC)
Blair and other city officials want to remind hikers there are still several trails and paths around town that are open to the public and everyone is encouraged to use them.