Santa Fe National Forest officials will lift campfire and other burning restrictions starting at 8 a.m. Thursday, thanks to decreasing danger of wildfire.

The U.S. Forest Service implemented fire restrictions Oct. 23 in Santa Fe and Carson national forests, as well as in four ranger districts in Cibola National Forest, to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfire during extreme drought and historically low moisture. Carson National Forest is expected to also lift restrictions Thursday, while the status of restrictions in Cibola National Forest is still uncertain, according to a news release from the Forest Service.

Although the fire restrictions will be lifted, the Forest Service urges visitors to never leave a campsite until a campfire has been completely extinguished and is cold to the touch. Violators of regulations that prohibit abandoning a campfire are subject to both a fine and imprisonment, and if an abandoned campfire causes a wildfire, violators can be held responsible for firefighting costs.

Police: Man killed after chase had gun

A Los Lunas man who led New Mexico State Police on a chase in Cibola County was shot and killed by officers last month after brandishing a rifle and aiming it at officers, the agency said in a news release.

According to the statement, Richard James Romero, 49, led police on a car chase along Interstate 40 around 11 a.m. Oct. 17 after law enforcement attempted a traffic stop. According to police, Romero was wanted on suspicion of being involved in a shooting earlier that day in Valencia County.

Officers tried to stop the vehicle several times using “stop sticks” and other techniques, eventually causing it to crash.

Laguna Pueblo Tribal Police and state police gave multiple commands for Romero to get out of the vehicle and surrender, which he ignored, according to the statement.

A Laguna officer fired a beanbag shot into the driver’s side of Romero’s vehicle. Romero then pulled out a rifle and began pointing it at officers, the statement said.

State police Officer Gene Gonzales shot Romero.

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