Fire restrictions reduced on Tonto National Forest, 8 am Wednesday
All fireworks prohibited year-round
PHOENIX (July 17, 2012) – Long-term drought conditions and lack of adequate monsoonal rains across the forest continue to pose wildfire challenges, but elevated relative humidities and dew points support fire restriction reductions on the Tonto National Forest beginning at 8 a.m., Wednesday, July 18. Most types of fire or fire-causing activities, however, continue to be prohibited across the entire Tonto National Forest.
Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or charcoal-burning device is prohibited except in some developed campgrounds (please see attached list). Use of petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, and heating devices is allowed.
Smoking is only allowed only in a developed campground, vehicle, or building.
Restrictions also apply to operating internal combustion power tools, using welding equipment or torches with open flames, operating combustion engines without spark-arresting devices in effective working order, or discharging firearms except in taking game in accordance with Arizona hunting laws.
Orders for the two fire closure areas, Fossil Creek and the Mt Ord, Four Peaks and Three Bar Wildlife Area will also be rescinded effective 8 am, Wed., July 18.
“Because of the extended drought and dry forest conditions, we still haven’t received the amount of monsoonal rains across the forest we need to lift fire restrictions entirely. Fire managers are noticing trends in fuels responding favorably to moist conditions (some precipitation, elevated relative humidities, elevated dew points), but we’re not yet where we need to be. Fire restrictions are still needed to protect forest users, structures and natural resources from the continued potential for dangerous wildland fires,” said Acting Fire Staff Helen Graham. “These precautionary measures are intended to enhance our visitors’ quality recreation experiences. Most areas of the Tonto National Forest remain available for recreation activity, including all the Salt River system lakes.”
“We continue to remind the public that all fireworks are prohibited on the forest at all times, and current fire restrictions also ban target shooting,” emphasized Templin.
Violation of these restrictions is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment for up to six months.
For more information regarding forest recreation sites and fire restrictions, please contact the Tonto National Forest at (602) 225-5200, or check online at www.fs.usda.gov/Tonto