TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - With monsoon storms in full swing and the rise in moisture, officials have determined the likelihood of wildfire has lessened and fire restrictions can be rescinded.
According to a National Park Service news release, all fire restrictions will be lifted in the following areas as of Thursday, July 20: the Bureau of Land Management Gila District, all districts of the Coronado National Forest, Saguaro National Park, Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, Coronado National Memorial, Chiricahua National Monument, Fort Bowie National Historic Site, Tumacácori National Historical Park, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, and the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management.
Visitors are reminded to always practice fire safety:
- Before going hiking or camping, check with public land management agencies for fire regulations, restrictions or area closures.
- Metal fire rings or grills should be used where present. Wood placed on a fire should never exceed the size of the grill or fire ring.
- If building a fire on the ground (in areas where permitted), a location should be selected which is away from adjoining or overhanging flammable material, and the ground beneath and around the fire should be cleared of all flammable materials. On windy days fires should be avoided if possible.
- If you have a campfire, make sure it is fully extinguished before leaving the area. Fires should be doused with water and dirt and stirred with a shovel until completely cold to the touch.
- If you are using a portable stove, make sure the area is clear of grasses and other fine fuels. Prevent stoves from tipping and starting a fire.
- Cigarettes should never be thrown out the window of a vehicle. Instead, ashtrays should be used in order to prevent wildfires.
- Practice Leave No Trace principles - pack out cigarette butts and burned materials from your camping area.
- Never park a vehicle over dead grass; the catalytic converter can ignite the vegetation.
- Use caution while discharging a firearm, operating an internal combustion engine, welding, or operating acetylene or other torches with an open flame, or using explosives (where permitted).
- Fireworks are always prohibited on federal lands.
Officials warn that fire conditions, as well as localized closures and restrictions are subject to change. As mandates for tribal, federal, state and local areas are all different there may be differences in year-round regulations and restriction notices.
Those interested in a more detailed explanation concerning agency restrictions and fire information in general, please contact the nearest land management agency office where you plan to work or play, visit http://wildlandfire.az.gov or call the toll-free Southwest Fire Restrictions Hotline at 1-877-864-6985.