Officials urge responsible camping and hiking 4th of July weekend

Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 6:32 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Fourth of July weekend is right around the corner. With an active wildfire season and soaring cases of COVID-19, officials want everyone to do their part to stay safe this holiday weekend.

"There is a lot going on right now and we really just want folks to remember that this July Fourth Independence holiday is about enjoying your freedoms and these spaces but these spaces belong to everyone," said Cam Juárez Saguaro National Park Public Information Officer.

Officials ask people to keep recreation areas clean and unharmed.

"More and more people are getting outdoors and we are seeing an increase in trash getting left behind," Juárez said. "We definitely have seen some folks vandalize some stuff and these are items that have been around for many, many generations."

Fire restrictions are in effect, which means campfires aren’t allowed. Grills are off limits at Saguaro National Park. Juárez recommends people choose lower risk activities while hiking during this busy weekend.

"Part of the reason we're pushing for this is because a lot of our search and rescue are pretty occupied with the fires," he said. "Nonetheless, those rescue organizations are available."

A face covering isn't required if you're able to keep a social distance while hiking but it's best to show up prepared.

"Have a mask ready, and if you don't have them on, at least have them in your pocket in case you come across an area that might be congested," he said. "It's 4th of July weekend, so we're expecting a whole lot more people."

The Arizona Office of Tourism has up-to-date information about which parks and recreation areas are open this weekend.

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