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  • Travel Tips

    Every community is unique and we have some tips to make your stay in our mountain resort a safe and pleasant one. You are encouraged to pay attention to the fire danger in town and in the forest as well as the possibility of wild animals and the trash that attracts them!


Fire danger on the Lincoln National Forest and the surrounding communities of Ruidoso, Ruidoso Downs and Mescalero is always a concern. Human-caused fires pose the greatest risk to the community and we count on you to help protect us from a wildfire.

Please use caution with fire and remember if you build a campfire, be sure it is DEAD OUT before you leave it unattended. If you smoke, do so in an area without vegetation or within your vehicle. As always, fireworks are prohibited on all national forest lands and approved spark arresters are mandatory on all internal combustion engines. A green tree will burn.


Fire Restrictions

firewi2 Travel Tips Lincoln National Forest  

Current Fire Danger on the Forest is Low

Current Fire Restrictions: Stage I

Stage I (1st Level)

  • No smoking outside of vehicles, or buildings
  • No open campfires outside of developed sites
  • No fireworks

Stage II (2nd Level ) Stage I Restrictions PLUS

  • Prohibitions for explosives, chainsaw or other internal combustion engines, welding
  • Prohibition for using a motor vehicle off forest development roads
  • Further restrictive use of campfires

Stage III (3rd Level)—Stage II Restrictions PLUS

  • The closure of specific areas of the Forest (as detailed in the Closure Order)

Stage IV (4th Level)—Stage III Restrictions PLUS

  • Full forest closures (as detailed in the Closure Order)

For More Information Lincoln National Forest

Southwest Coordination Center

firewi1 Travel Tips

Village of Ruidoso


Fire Restrictions: Level I

Level I

  • Commercial fire pits approved for use
  • Outdoor cooking approved on all types of appliances, including charcoal
  • Non-commercial fire pits, campfires and/or fireworks are not allowed within the Village of Ruidoso (unless specifically permitted by Fire Marshal.)

Level II

  • No Charcoal briquettes or commercial fire pits to be used any public or private property
  • UL/FM approved gas grills shall be allowed
  • No outside smoking on public or private property (unless in areas specifically permitted by the Fire Marshal.)
  • Smoking allowed within closed vehicles or indoors only
  • Campfires and fireworks are not to be permitted

Level III

  • No open flame or fire of any kind permitted at any time
  • No smoking outside a structure
  • No cooking with any type appliance
  • No burning, etc.
  • Welding operations may be permitted by the Fire Marshal

Citations will be issued – No exceptions – No warnings

For More Information: Village of Ruidoso Fire Department

firewi3 Travel Tips

Ruidoso Downs


Fire Restrictions: None/Level I

Level I — Classes I, II, III — Fire Danger Normal

  • No open fire
  • No fireworks

Level II — Class IV — Fire Danger Very High

  • No charcoal or wood burning briquettes on any public or private property
  • UL/FM approved gas grills shall be allowed
  • No outside smoking on public or private property
  • Smoking must occur within closed vehicles or indoors
  • No open fire
  • No fireworks

Level III – Class V – Fire Danger Extreme

  • No open flame or fire of any kind
  • All forms of fire are prohibited

Citations will be issues—No exceptions—No warnings.

Trash Wise

When staying in a cabin or vacation home, please remember to take your trash to the nearest beige dumpster located in the neighborhood area. There is no curbside pickup. Please do not put hot ash in the dumpsters as this is a fire threat. Blue dumpsters are for recyclables are located throughout the community.


Bear Wise

Bears can be found in the Ruidoso area and frequently overturn dumpsters when food and water are low. Please remember bears are wild animals and can be temperamental. Do not approach bears and be safe when viewing and taking pictures.  Please note: In the Village of Ruidoso, it is illegal to feed the wildlife.