Carlsbad Caverns National Park is one of hundreds of national parks waiving an entrance fee Saturday to celebrate the first day of National Park Week.

As the area experiences extreme fire danger due to high temperatures, low humidity and high winds that have resulted in very dry vegetation, the park announced Wednesday it has implemented several preventative measures.

“This is one of the driest years at the park since 2001, with only 1.06 inches of precipitation since October 2017,” the release stated.

Due to the prolonged extreme fire danger, the park implemented the following preventative measures:

  • Closure of the Walnut Canyon Desert Drive.
  • Charcoal fires prohibited.
  • Smoking is prohibited, except inside personal vehicles.
  • Open flames and cooking stoves are prohibited in the backcountry.

The measures will be in effect until the fire danger subsides, the release stated.

Usually the park has an entrance fee of $12 per person, ages 16 and older. The entrance fee waiver on April 21 does not cover tour fees, a previous news release detailed.

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