County may impose fire restrictions - Tucson News Now

County may impose fire restrictions

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Pima County may get a early start on fire restrictions this year.

It will vote next whether to impose restrictions on consumer fireworks, smoking, and campfires in unincorporated Pima County and county owned land.

The State Forester imposed restrictions nearly two weeks ago, a month earlier than normal.

We expect "a busy season, a very busy season," says Eugene Beaudoin of the state forestry office.

Grasses in Southern Arizona which were six to eight inches tall at this time last year are now two to three feet tall, providing some explosive fuel.

And no one is predicting much rain soon.

"It's dry, we got wind," he says. "It doesn't take long to dry fire fuels out."

Pima County has decided to follow the state's lead and issue the stage 1 restrictions. By doing so, it can move to the more severe stage 2 if needed.

A big concern is consumer fireworks.

They will be restricted but not banned,

"To me, banned means you can't buy fireworks, you can't purchase them," says Jeff Guthrie from Pima County's Office of Emergency Management. 

Under the resolution which will be voted in by the county May 6, "you can still buy them but you can't use them on any unincorporated Pima County property," Guthrie says.

Also, smoking will be restricted to cars or buildings. In some areas that are clear within three feet,it may also be permitted.

Campfires will be prohibited on all county owned property and county parks.

They are already prohibited on state trust land.

The restrictions will not affect the big July Fourth holiday fireworks shows which are protected by state law.

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