(Posted May 10, 2012 at 12:10 p.m.) To protect the public, natural resources, and reduce the risks of wildfires, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Colorado River District has announced fire restrictions on 2.5 million acres of public lands in western Arizona and southeastern California along the Colorado River.
Effective Friday, May 18, 2012, fire and smoking restrictions will be enforced on all public lands within the BLM Yuma and Lake Havasu Field Office jurisdictions. These restrictions are similar to those being implemented in other areas in Arizona.
The BLM is asking the public to use extreme caution when visiting public lands this summer. Currently there are no plans to close any areas along the Colorado River area to public use. The public is reminded that the Fire Prevention Order prohibits the following acts:
1. Open campfires, charcoal grills, and stove fires. Campfires and charcoal grills are only permitted in developed recreation sites or improved sites, where agency-built fire rings or grills are provided. The use of petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, or heating devices is allowed on public lands provided such devices meet the fire underwriter’s specifications for safety.
2. Smoking. Smoking is restricted to enclosed buildings, within a vehicle and on a paved or surface road, within a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least six feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
3. Use of fireworks, flares, or other incendiary devices.
4. Welding or the use of any torch or metal cutting implement.
“Due to the mild winter and low precipitation levels, we have very dry vegetation in the area that will become fuel for wildfires as temperatures increase,” stated Fire Management Officer Mike Trent. “The restrictions will continue until conditions warrant the lifting of the restrictions.”
Violations of these restrictions are punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 and/or imprisonment of not more than 12 months.
Imperial, Cibola, Bill Williams, and Havasu National Wildlife Refuges continue to enforce year round fire restrictions.
For fire restriction information in Arizona and New Mexico:
(Source: Bureau of Land Management)