As wildfires continue to rage across Arizona, several state agencies are implementing fire restrictions, effective today, in an attempt to prevent more fires breaking out.
Currently, the Tonto, Prescott and Apache-Sitgreaves national forests are under Stage II fire restrictions. That means the following activities are prohibited in those forests:
- Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire
- Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building
- Possessing, using or discharging fireworks or pyrotechnic devices
- Discharging a firearm, except during a lawful hunt
- Using explosives
- Operating chain saws or equipment with internal combustion engines between the hours of 1 p.m. and 1 a.m.
- Using internal or external combustion engines without properly installed, approved, working spark arrestors
- Welding and use of acetylene or other torches with open flames
- Using or operating motor vehicles off forest system roads, except when parking within 10 feet of a road where there is no brush or vegetation, or overnight parking in developed campgrounds and trailheads
In addition, the Bureau of Land Management announced Stage I fire restrictions for specific lands administered by the BLM:
In addition to the Stage II and elevated fire restrictions [listed above], the discharge of air rifles, exploding targets or gas guns except during a lawful hunt will be also be prohibited on lands managed by the BLM Lower Sonoran and Hassayampa field offices, BLM land in the counties of Maricopa, Pima, Pinal and Yavapai, the Sonoran Desert National Monument and the Agua Fria National Monument. Exceptions and exclusions to fire restrictions in these BLM-administered areas will permit certain limited activities, including:
- Fires in fire rings or grills provided by officials in developed campsites or picnic areas
- Smoking in areas with a diameter of at least 10 feet that are clear of brush and all flammable materials
- Use of devices solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off in areas clear of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the device
- Otherwise prohibited activities are allowed if a person possesses a written permit authorizing the activity, as well as in areas where written and posted notice specifically authorizes the activity
The Gila River Fire Department has issued Open Burning Permit Restrictions and Moratorium, which is a community no-burn notice that prohibits outdoor fires typically used to dispose of refuse.
Finally, Grand Canyon National Park said in a news release that while no fire restrictions are yet in effect at the park, caution is still required:
Visitors are reminded of the following year-round fire regulations.
- Within the park, fires are only allowed in designated campgrounds and may only be ignited in grills or designated fire rings.
- If you are hiking and camping below the rim, cook stoves may be used, but campfires and other open fires are never allowed.
- If you are on a river trip, campfires are only allowed in elevated metal pans, and use of a fireproof blanket under the pan is required.
Please keep these restrictions in mind as you embark on weekend trips. We’ll continue to update you with any new restrictions as we hear about them.