TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service is implementing fire restrictions in southern Arizona.
Restrictions apply to the following areas:
- Bureau of Land Management Gila District
- All districts of the Coronado National Forest
- Saguaro National Park
- Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
- Coronado National Memorial
- Chiricahua National Monument
- Fort Bowie National Historic Site
- Tumacácori National Historical Park
- Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
As of Monday, June 26 the following are prohibited:
- Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove fire, including within a developed recreation site, or improved site.
- Using an explosive.
- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building. (Smoking is prohibited in all federal buildings.)
- Operating or using any equipment powered by an internal combustion engine, except motor vehicles.
- Welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
- Discharging a firearm, air rifle or gas gun, except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal, or tribal law, and regulations.
- Possessing operating motor vehicles off National Forest System roads, including but not limited to cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, and ATVs, except for when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway, and except for parking overnight in Forest Service developed campground and trailheads.
**Fireworks are always prohibited year-round on federal lands.
These restrictions will be in place until further notice.
Violation of restrictions on federal lands is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor, which includes a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual and up to $10,000 for organizations and possible imprisonment for not more than six (6) months or both. Violators may also be held personally responsible for reimbursement of fire suppression costs. Arizona and New Mexico state laws carry similar penalties.
Pressurized liquid or gas stoves, lanterns and heaters possessing shut-off devices are allowed. When using a portable stove, make sure the area is clear of grasses and other fine fuels. Prevent stoves from tipping and starting a fire.
Cigarettes should never be thrown out the window of a vehicle. Instead, ashtrays should be used in order to prevent wildfires.
Never park a vehicle over dead grass; the catalytic converter can ignite the vegetation.
Fire conditions as well as localized closures and restrictions are subject to change. Because tribal, federal, state, and local mandates are different, they may have some differences in their restriction notices.
For a more detailed explanation concerning agency restrictions and fire information in general, please contact the nearest land management agency office where you plan to work or play, visit http://wildlandfire.az.gov or call the toll-free Southwest Fire Restrictions Hotline at 1-877-864-6985.