Mount Lemmon campers meet fire and smoking restrictions - Tucson News Now

Mount Lemmon campers meet fire and smoking restrictions

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MT. LEMMON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The sound of an electric air pump serves a reminder in the Rose Canyon camping area that there's nothing wrong with a little comfort at the campsite.  Cecil Minnis has a party of 13.  But one trademark feature, the campfire, is against the rules right now.  Gas stoves and lanterns are permitted.  Smoking is off-limits outside.

"I think it's a little much.  Honestly we have a couple of people that smoke and for any of them smoking, they tell you to get in the car with the windows rolled up and that's the only way you're allowed to smoke," Minnis said. 

"I do hope that everyone is being cautious, especially seeing the signs for cigarettes and such and putting them out, so, yeah definitely, it's definitely a danger and hope that everyone's taking precautions just to keep everyone safe," Elizabeth Slaymaker said as she stood in Summerhaven.  She brought some friends from out of town to Mount Lemmon to check out the scenery and to take in the cool temperatures on the day before the Fourth of July. 

"Shocking that there can be something like this in terms of the temperature difference, I mean, I think it was 106 when we left the bottom, it's 73 up here, you have 33 degree difference.  It's actually a lot cooler here than back home in Rhode Island right now," said visitor Bill Friedman.

"The summer has been going weather-wise very well and people traffic really well," said Carol Mack, co-owner of the Mount Lemmon General Store and Gift Shop.

The traffic could get even better for the store, since fewer locations on Mount Lemmon will require fees.  Only eleven locations will have signs and fee boxes to collect them.  And while some visitors might not like the fire restrictions, they know why they must follow them as they enjoy their mountaintop getaway.

"We'll make the best of whatever, you know, we can while we're here," Minnis said.

The Fourth of July parade in Summerhaven starts promptly at noon.  Two fire engines are expected to be part of the parade.  One will serve in memoriam for the 19 firefighters lost battling the Yarnell Hill Fire.

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