Silver City Ð The Silver City Ranger District of the Gila National Forest is reopening four campgrounds on Friday that were closed during the winter.

Iron Creek Campground, located in the Black Range Mountains off Highway 152, Lower Gallinas Campground, located in the Black Range Mountains State Highway 152, Cherry Creek Campground, located off Highway 15, and McMillan Campground, located off N.M. State Highway 15, will all once again be open starting Friday.

Christa Osborn, District Recreation Staff on the Silver City Ranger District, recommends that during spring users take a few minutes to evaluate weather, road, and campground conditions carefully before selecting a campsite.

"Spring is a windy time of year and strong winds can move through the campground causing broken or loose tree branches. Remember to look up before choosing a site on the ground," said Osborn.

The Ranger District also asks campers practice the "Leave No Trace" principle when enjoying the Gila by disposing of waste properly. Pack out your trash, leftover food, and leave your campsite better for the next forest visitor to use.

Also, the weather has been extremely dry so they ask campers to please practice campfire safety by clearing all flammable material away from the fire for a minimum of five feet in all directions, making a fire only if you have a shovel and sufficient water to put it out, having a responsible person in attendance at all times, never leaving campfires unattended.


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Also, avoid making a campfire during the windy part of the day, make sure your campfire is out, drown with water and stir with dirt, make sure all burned materials are extinguished. Feel with your hand to make sure it's out cold.

Please note that there will be no water available at either the Little Walnut and Gomez Peak picnic sites due to the continued drought and low water levels at the well site.

For additional information regarding campgrounds or other recreational opportunities on the Gila National Forest, contact the respective ranger station or visit the website at http://fs.usda.gov/gila. You can follow the ranger district on twitter at http://twitter.com/gilaforestpao.