TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Officials with the Coronado National Forest are expecting large numbers of visitors to the Forest’s most popular campgrounds and picnic areas over Easter weekend, April 20 and 21. With fire danger on the rise, visitors are urged to use extreme caution building, maintaining and extinguishing fires.
The following are tips for safe and enjoyable weekend outings:
- Fire or smoking restrictions are currently not in effect on Coronado National Forest. However, visitors should choose campfire sites carefully (no burnable materials in, around or above the campfire site), maintain small fires and ensure all fires and smoking materials are completely extinguished and cold to the touch before leaving them for any reason. If visitors plan to light a campfire, it is imperative they take sufficient water specifically for putting it out completely. Fires should be avoided on windy days. Fireworks are prohibited year-round on all National Forest lands.
- Wildlife is active. Black bears are hungry and searching for food following their winter rest. Always maintain a clean campsite. Wash and stow dishes immediately after using them. Stow food and trash out of sight and smell range of bears and other wildlife, using bear-proof lockers where provided. Don’t take clothes used for cooking or other odorous items like toothpaste or lotion in sleeping areas. Don’t leave pet food out and always keep pets secured. Bears usually avoid people, unless they are attracted by whatever looks or smells like it will be good to eat.
- Forest visitors traveling in remote areas of the Coronado National Forest in the vicinity of the International Border with Mexico are advised to remain alert to their surroundings as illegal smuggling activity is known to occur in some areas. Visitors are advised not to attempt to intercede should they witness illegal activity, but to contact the nearest law enforcement agency with descriptions of persons, vehicles, date/time and other pertinent information.
- Off-road/off-trail motorized travel is prohibited. Picnicking and camping outside of developed recreation areas on the Forest is allowed unless otherwise posted. Visitors must provide their own water and pack garbage out.
- Douglas Ranger District (Chiricahua Mountains, Dragoon Mountains) - (520) 364-3468.
- Nogales Ranger District (Santa Rita Mountains, Madera Canyon; Atascosa Mountains; Tumacacori Mountains) - (520) 281-2296.
- Safford Ranger District (Mt. Graham) - (928) 428-4150.
- Sierra Vista Ranger District (Huachuca Mountains, Miller Peak Wilderness) - (520) 378-0311.
- Santa Catalina Ranger District (Mt. Lemmon, Sabino Canyon) - (520) 749-8700.