(Posted June 14, 2012, at 9:50 a.m.) Fire dangers have hit a historic high for this time of year, and any fire start in the area poses a safety risk to the public and to fire fighters.
The public is restricted from entering the Pole Knoll Recreation area, in addition to several Forest Service roads (listed below) in an effort to minimize risk for fire starts.
Currently, the Pole Knoll Recreation area (located off Arizona State Highway 260, and west of the Greer exit and Arizona State Highway 373 junction) and several associated Forest Service Roads are the only places we see the immediate need on the Springerville Ranger District to implement a “Temporary Emergency Closure” at this time due to concerns for public safety.
The closure will be implemented Wednesday, June 20, and will remain in full force and in effect until a significant amount of rain is received to allow us to lift the closure,” Springerville District Ranger Marcia Pfleiderer stated.
Closed to public access:
· Pole Knoll Recreation Area (off Arizona SH 260)
· FS Road #112
· FS Road 87
· Hiking within Pole Knoll interior
· Squirrel Springs parking lot, trail and restroom
· Government Spring Fishing Area
· FS Road #575 accessing the Gov’t Spring Fishing area
What is open?
· West Fork of the Little Colorado
· Rolf C. Hoyer Campground
For specific information on areas that are open or closed please contact the Springerville Ranger District Office at 928-333-6200.
Stage II fire restrictions are in effect on both the Apache and Sitgreaves National Forests (see website for closure order specifics at: www.fs.usda.gov/asnf) banning all campfires (liquid petroleum and LPG stoves that can be turned on and off are allowed—propone fire pits are not allowed), smoking is not allowed unless in an enclosed vehicle or building; operating any internal combustion engine is not allowed from 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; fireworks are never allowed on National Forest Service lands; welding or other torches with open flames are not allowed; and/or explosives.
Stage II fire restrictions and this area closure will remain in place until lands within Apache and Navajo Counties receive significant precipitation.
White Mountain visitors and locals are reminded that some campfire restrictions are always in effect, such as in forested areas within city limits of most northern Arizona communities.
Additionally, fireworks are never allowed on National Forests. For more information about restrictions on public lands, call toll free 1-877-864-6985 or visit (http://www.publiclands.org/firenews/AZ.php and www.593info.org) or by dialing 593 or 928-333-3412.
Violation of the prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000, imprisonment for more than six months, or both. Fireworks are always prohibited on National Forest land. Arizona state lands have imposed their own restrictions separately.
(source: Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests)