Drought conditions, hot temperatures and increased fire danger have resulted in fire restrictions across Tonto National Forest beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday.
Most types of fire or fire-causing activities are prohibited in the forest.
Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or charcoal-burning device is prohibited.
Smoking is only allowed 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.
Use of petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, and heating devices are allowed, and some developed campgrounds are exempted from these restrictions.
“Fire restrictions are needed to protect forest users, structures and natural resources from the increased potential for dangerous wildland fires,” said Tonto National Forest Acting Deputy Clay Templin. “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,” Templin added.
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