Monsoon storm

Rim Country has seen few monsoon storms this summer causing the Tonto National Forest to keep fire restrictions in place.

Fire restrictions remain in effect on the Tonto National Forest because of the feeble and spotty monsoon.

“This year has been exactly what the weather folks have predicted for monsoons, ‘late and weak,’” said Jeremy Plain, fire management officer for the Payson Ranger District.

Isolated storms have dropped as little as .86 inches of rain in Pine and as much as 5 inches in the Colcord/Canyon Creek area.

“We need more widespread rain and our fuel moistures need to increase significantly in order to come out of restrictions,” said Plain.

But don’t look for that to happen soon.

The National Weather Service has predicted a “14-plus day drying trend and excessive heat warnings,” said Plain.

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