East Verde Estates Fire restriction sign 2020

Under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions, backyard wood fires are prohibited. The use of gas fire pits is still allowed along with grills.

The Tonto National Forest rescinded Stage 2 Fire Restrictions and implemented Stage 1 Fire Restrictions on Friday, July 16 with the onset of monsoon activity and a decrease in fire danger.

Coconino and Kaibab national forests rescinded all fire restrictions on Friday.

During Stage 1 restrictions, the following remains prohibited on the Tonto:

• Igniting, building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire, including use of charcoal or briquettes, outside a fire structure that is provided by the Forest Service within a designated area.

• Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of any flammable material. Deposit butts and remains in an ashtray or inside a building; do not toss or discard on the ground.

Exemptions to Stage 1 Fire Restrictions include:

• Persons using a device solely fueled by liquid petroleum gas (LPG) that can be turned on and off. Such devices are allowed in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the device.

• Any federal, state, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force, in the performance of official duty.

• Persons with a written Forest Service authorization specifically exempting them from the effect of this Order.

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions will remain in effect until Sept. 30, 2021, or until rescinded by Tonto officials.

According to Taiga Rohrer, fire management officer for the Tonto, Stage 1 Fire Restrictions will continue to provide for the public’s health and safety and also protect National Forest System lands, resources and facilities.

“Recent rainfall is allowing us to ease restrictions,” Rohrer said. “But we need the public to keep in mind that there have been more than 1,000 wildfires in Arizona this year that have burned nearly 500,000 acres. We need everyone to pay attention to their surroundings when visiting national forests. Help us by securing tow chains and abiding by fire restrictions.”

Violation of fire restrictions is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment for up to six months.

For more information regarding the fire restrictions closure order and accompanying map, see the “Alerts & Warnings” section on the Tonto home page at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/tonto/alerts-notices.

The public can get current state and federal fire restrictions information across Arizona on the Arizona Interagency Wildfire Prevention and Information website.

Visit Inciweb for information on current fires burning in Arizona.

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