TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Increasing fire danger has U.S. Forest Service officials with the Tonto National Forest temporarily closing vehicle access to a popular recreation area, according to a recent news release.
The Bermuda Flat Shoreline, a popular area with visitors to Roosevelt Lake, will be closed to vehicles beginning Tuesday, April 23. Officials stated the closure was necessary for "public safety and resource protection due to the high concentration of campers in a small area with high potential for fire starts in the tall grass as it dries out, with limited and restricted vehicle access making rapid evacuation in the event of a fire very difficult."
Winter rains have increased the water level at Roosevelt Lake, bringing it up to almost 75 percent full. This means that the waterline has risen above the area devoid of vegetation, where camping normally occurs, forcing people to move into areas with abundant vegetation, including tall grass that may ignite easily and carry fire quickly.
According to USFS officials the temporary closure will end once the lake recedes to expose enough shoreline that will accommodate the higher numbers of campers and RVs without them parking in and driving over dry grass.
The TNF wants the public to enjoy their camping experience without wildfires, and appreciates the public’s cooperation with this temporary closure.