(Posted June 7, 2012 at 5:25 p.m.) Drought conditions, hot temperatures and increased fire danger have resulted in increased fire restrictions for the Tonto National Forest beginning at 8 a.m., Friday, June 8. Most types of fire or fire-causing activities will be prohibited across the Tonto National Forest.
Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or wood or charcoal-burning device is prohibited, except in Forest Service-provided fire grills and grates in developed recreation sites on the Cave Creek and Mesa ranger districts where charcoal only may be used (list attached). No campfires of any type are allowed under any conditions in any other areas on the forest.
Smoking is only allowed only in a developed campground, vehicle, or building.
Gas and propane stoves, lanterns or heating devices are permitted provided such devices meet the fire underwriter’s specifications for safety.
Welding, grinding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame is prohibited.
All internal combustion engines must have a spark-arresting device properly installed, be maintained and in effective working order, and meet appropriate safety standards. The use of internal combustion engines is restricted to existing roads and trails, and developed campgrounds.
Discharging firearms except in taking game in accordance with Arizona, federal, or tribal hunting laws, is prohibited.
“Because of ongoing drought, dry forest conditions, and exceptionally low relative humidities, 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 Fire Staff Officer Helen Graham. “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,” concluded Graham.
Violation of these restrictions is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 for individuals, $10,000 for organizations, and imprisonment for up to six months.
(Source: Tonto National Forest)