Drought conditions, warm temperatures, and increasing fire danger have prompted the Tonto National Forest to implement fire restrictions on the Tonto National Forest beginning at 8 a.m., Wednesday, April 18. Fire-causing activities will be prohibited across the entire Tonto National Forest.
Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or charcoal-burning device is prohibited. Smoking is prohibited except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or a developed recreation site. Operating a chainsaw or any other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine is prohibited between 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The discharging of firearms, air rifles or gas guns, except when engaged in a legal hunt in accordance with state, federal or tribal laws and regulations. The use of fireworks, explosives or a pyrotechnic device is always prohibited.
The use of petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, and heating devices are allowed, if they are equipped with a switch or attached manual device that allows the fire to be extinguished immediately. Operating a motorized vehicle on Forest Service roads is allowed as long as the vehicle is parked in an area devoid of all vegetation.
“We are going into restrictions earlier than normal due to the record 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,” Tonto National Forest Fire Staff Officer Don Nunley said. “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,” Nunley added.
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 fire restrictions on the Tonto National Forest, call 602-225-5200, or go to www.fs.usda.gov/tonto.
For general information on fire activity and restrictions in Arizona, call toll free 877-864-6985, or go to firerestrictions.us/az/.