Visitors to the Rim Country during the Fourth of July holiday will have to enjoy their campsites without the addition of a campfire.
The Forest Service has no plans to lift fire restrictions that prohibit campfires, open fires, charcoal fires and smoking in the forests.
According to a release from the U.S. Forest Service, "Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or wood or charcoal burning stove (is not allowed); using an explosive; smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material (is not allowed); operating an internal combustion engine, other than a vehicle; discharging a firearm, except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal, or tribal laws and regulations."
According to the prohibitions, all off-road vehicles or any internal or external combustion engine must have a spark-arresting device installed.
Currently, the only closure in the Tonto National Forest is the area surrounding the Promontory Fire -- from the junction of Forest Road (FR) 300 and 9310 on the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest, continuing south to the junction of FS Trail #278, continuing southwest to the Highline Trail #31.
Fines for not obeying restrictions and closures are as high as $5,000 for individuals, and $10,000 for organizations, as well as possible incarceration of up to six months.