Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- Drought conditions, hot temperatures, and increased fire danger have resulted in the implementation of fire restrictions on the Tonto National Forest.
The restrictions took effect on June 5 and will remain in effect until rescinded or until Aug. 30, whichever occurs first.
Most types of fire or fire-causing activities are prohibited across the entire Tonto National Forest while the restrictions are in place.
Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or charcoal-burning device is prohibited outside of metal fire rings and metal pedestal grills provided by the Forest Service in developed recreation sites (see attached list). The use of petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, and heating devices are allowed.
Restrictions also apply to operating internal combustion power tools, using welding equipment or torches with open flames, operating combustion engines without spark-arresting devices in effective working order and meeting either USDA or SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) standards.
Discharging a firearm is prohibited except for taking game in accordance with Arizona hunting laws.
Smoking is prohibited except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or a developed recreation site. Please deposit the remains an ashtray or inside a building. Do not toss or discard on the ground.
“As temperatures reach the 100 degree mark, the abundant grass crop the desert received because of winter rains dry out raising the fire danger to high” said Acting Tonto National Forest Fire Staff Bill Crolly. “These precautionary measures help prevent human-caused wildfires, preventing unnecessary exposure to firefighters.”
“We are reminding the public that fireworks and the use of exploding targets are always prohibited on the Forest,” emphasized Crolly.
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 forest recreation sites and fire restrictions, please contact the Tonto National Forest at (602) 225-5200, or check online at www.fs.usda.gov/tonto.
For general information on fire activity and restrictions in Arizona call toll free (877) 864-6985, or visit the Southwest Coordination Center website at http://gacc.nifc.gov/swcc or http://firerestrictions.us/az.