Public safety concerns due to drought conditions, hot temperatures and increased fire danger have resulted in two temporary area closures on the Tonto National Forest beginning at 8 a.m., Friday, June 17. The two area closures are within the following boundaries:
All National Forest System Lands, roads and trails below the Mogollon Rim and North of the Control Road, bounded by National Forest System Road 708 at the Fossil Springs Trailhead proceeding easterly along National Forest System Road 708 to the intersection with the power line road at the Southwest edge of the town of Strawberry; following the power line corridor southerly then easterly to the intersection of Forest System Road 583 at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park; continuing easterly on Forest Road 583 to State Highway 87; then northerly following State Highway 87 to National Forest System Road 64 (The Control Road); thence easterly following the Control Road to the Intersection with State Highway 260; easterly along State Highway 260 to the Forest boundary at the top of the Mogollon Rim; and westerly along the Mogollon Rim and Tonto National Forest Boundary to the Fossil Springs Trailhead at Forest Road 708.
All National Forest System Lands, roads and trails within the Mt Ord, Four Peaks and Three Bar Wildlife Area, bounded by the eastern edge of Highway 87 on the west beginning at the intersection with Forest System Road 143; on the north along State Highway 87 to the intersection with State Highway 188; on the south along the western edge of Highway 188 to the Salt River corridor; on the west along the north side of the Salt river corridor including the north shores of Apache Lake, Canyon Lake and Saguaro Lake to Cottonwood Creek; northerly along Cottonwood creek to the intersection with Forest System Road 401, continuing northerly on Forest System Road 401 to the intersection with Forest System Road 143 and westerly on Forest System Road 143 terminating at the intersection with State Highway 87.
Exceptions to this closure are the RV Dump site on the west side of State Highway 188 at Cholla Bay and the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park.
Also, most types of fire or fire-causing activities are prohibited across the Tonto National Forest.
Tonto NF area closures in effect June 17, 2011
“Because of ongoing drought, dry forest conditions, and exceptionally low relative humidities, fire restrictions are needed to protect forest users, structures and natural resources from the increased potential for wildland fires,” said Tonto National Forest deputy Fire Staff Officer 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.”
Graham concluded: “We continue to remind the public that all fireworks are prohibited on the forest at all times.”
Violation of these restrictions is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 for individuals, $10,000 for organizations, 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
For general information on fire activity and restrictions in Arizona call toll free 877-864-6985, or visit the. Southwest Coordination Center website: http://gacc.nifc.gov/swcc or http://www.publiclands.org/firenews/AZ.php
National Incident Information System www.inciweb.org
Southwest Coordination Center: http://gacc.nifc.gov/swcc
National Interagency Fire Center: www.nifc.gov
National Fire Plan: www.forestsandrangelands.gov
www.azfireinfo.com (fire prevention and restrictions)
www.publiclands.org/firenews/AZ.php (fire restrictions and other public lands information) www.azsf.az.gov. (wildfire information and Firewise)
www.azein.gov (Arizona Emergency Information Network for ALL hazard emergency and
Fire Restriction Information: Toll free 1 (877) 864-6985
To report a wildfire, call 1-866-746-6516 or dial 911.