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Stage 2 Fire Restrictions on forest lands, no campfires or smoking outside

Posted at 6:50 PM, May 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-26 21:50:19-04

SUMMERHAVEN, Ariz. (KGUN9) — It has been almost a year since the lightning-caused Bighorn Fire.

Mt Lemmon General Store manager Leanne Mack says they are glad they are still here after it forced them to evacuate and close for weeks.

“We were really unsure what that would do to us, but we had so much support from Tucson and surrounding areas,” she said.

Now she is hoping stage 2 fire restrictions protect them from any human caused problems this year.

“We have gas stoves, as well as two burner stoves with propane tanks as long as it has an on-off switch propane is ok,” said Mack.

Building or maintaining a campfire is now prohibited by law along with smoking outside. Coronado National Forest Service Spokesperson Heidi Schewel says the restrictions are not issued lightly.

“Right now, we are drier than we were last year at this time,” said Schewel.

Target shooting is also not allowed, and people should not park on dead grass. Conditions are tinder dry. Schewel says if the dry conditions continue into monsoon area closures may be needed.

"One year we had to close off the whole forest,” she said. “Let's hope that doesn’t happen, but right now we have to be aware of why these restrictions are in place and honor them.”

People who break the rules not only face fines and jail time but could be held responsible for the cost of fighting the flames. Mack says heading into the start of the season she is hoping for a calmer year with no closures.

"This is one of our biggest weekends, we are prepared, lots of fresh fudge, we have camping stuff, it's great to see people finally getting out and about and enjoying the cool mountains air.”