Campfires are once again permitted after the Forest Service and town lifted fire restrictions Wednesday.
The Tonto National Forest and Town of Payson ended Stage 1 Fire Restrictions because of reduced fire danger.
“The Tonto and Arizonans needed a break in the weather, and we got it with recent monsoonal activity,” said Deputy Forest Supervisor Tom Torres.
“We thank everyone for cooperating with these restrictions across the forest, but temperatures are still high enough to spark a wildfire if people are not careful when building a campfire.”
Keep your fire small;
Always keep water and a shovel nearby and know how to use them to put out your campfire;
Be sure an adult is always watching the fire;
Keep an eye on the weather. Sudden wind gusts can blow sparks into vegetation outside your cleared area, causing unexpected fires;
Make sure your campfire is dead out.
Campfires and charcoal barbecues must be completely extinguished after use. Abandoned campfires continue to be a major cause of wildfires. Always keep enough water on hand and a tool to drown and stir fires. If it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave. More campfire safety and prevention tips can be found at Smokeybear.com.
Inspect vehicles and trailers for proper maintenance, especially in relation to tire condition, brakes and wheel bearings. The Arizona climate is tough on tires and wheel bearings; tire blowouts or worn bearings can be very dangerous but can also cause wildfires. Adjust trailer chains to avoid them dragging and sparking fires.
Violators of regulations that prohibit abandoning a campfire are subject to a fine and/or imprisonment. If an abandoned campfire causes a wildfire, violators can also be held responsible for fire suppression costs.
For more information, visit the Tonto National Forest website or call the Payson Ranger District at 928-474-7900 or Tonto Basin Ranger District at 602-225-5395.