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Friday, April 18, 2014

Fire restrictions begin April 18 on Tonto Forest


     PHOENIX (April 18, 2014) – Drought conditions, hot temperatures, and increased fire danger have resulted in fire restrictions for the Tonto National Forest beginning at 8 a.m., Friday, April 18.

     Most types of fire or fire-causing activities are prohibited across the entire Tonto National Forest.

     Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or charcoal-burning device is prohibited.

     Restrictions also apply to operating internal combustion power tools, using welding equipment or torches with open flames, operating combustion engines without spark-arresting devices in effective working order, or discharging firearms except in taking game in accordance with Arizona hunting laws.

    Smoking is prohibited except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or a developed recreation site.
     Use of petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, and heating devices are allowed, and some developed campgrounds are exempted from these restrictions.  (Please see attached list).

     “We are going into restrictions about a month earlier than normal due to the extremely dry winter and spring we’ve had this year. Fuel moisture and humidity levels have been decreasing steadily across the forest and the fire danger is high,” said Tonto National Forest Fire Management Officer Helen Graham. “These precautionary measures are intended to protect forest resources and enhance our visitors’ quality recreation experiences.” 

     “We continue to remind the public that all fireworks are prohibited on the forest at all times and this includes the use of exploding targets,” emphasized Graham.

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

     For more information regarding forest recreation sites and fire restrictions, please contact the Tonto National Forest at (602) 225-5200, or check online at www.fs.usda.gov/tonto   

     For general information on fire activity and restrictions in Arizona call toll free 877-864-6985, or visit the. Southwest Coordination Center website:  http://gacc.nifc.gov/swcc or http://firerestrictions.us/az

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