Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fire restrictions in effect across Arizona

Fire Restrictions in Effect Across Arizona
“Know Before You Go!”

PHOENIX - Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the summer recreation season.  Each year, thousands of people enjoy activities such as hiking, camping, picnicking, OHV driving, when they visit their favorite outdoor places in Arizona.  Fire restrictions assist in reducing the chances and damages of human caused fires and ensure there are enough firefighting resources to respond quickly to keep fires small.  Know before you go, so you can take the right equipment and supplies.

Continued dry conditions and an increase in wildfire activity throughout Arizona have led to the issuance of Fire Restrictions in areas of the state.  Individual land management agencies, as well as some counties and municipalities, have determined that Fire Restrictions would be in the interest of public safety.  The most detrimental fires happen during this time of year before the lightning and monsoons.  That is because most of the time it is preventable human actions that are starting fires under extremely hazardous conditions.

The Southwestern Region is currently at Preparedness Level 3, which means that there are large fires in the region and fire behavior is escalating and of concern to multiple agencies and fire managers.  Most wildfires are human-caused and are started from untended campfires, smoldering cigarettes and sparks from engines.  To help prevent wildfires, please:
¡  Check Fire Restrictions.  Before you go, call the local office to find out what restrictions are in place.
¡  Never use Fireworks.  All fireworks, including sparklers, are not allowed on public lands.  A small spark at the wrong time could cause a devastating wildfire.
¡  Make sure campfires are dead out.  If fires are allowed, extinguish your fire or barbecue one hour before you leave the area.  Use lots of water and douse it until you see water floating on the wood/coals and the fire ash is cold to touch.  Partially extinguished fires can be fanned by evening winds and re-kindle fires that may take off the next day.  Be careful!

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