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Fire restrictions lifted in southern Arizona with arrival of monsoon

Concern grows over unattended campfires
Posted at 11:31 AM, Jul 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 14:31:04-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — As monsoon continues in Arizona, the U.S. Forest Service is lifting fire restrictions across the southeastern portion of the state.

The Forest Service says all districts of the Monument 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 and Organ Pipe Cactus National will be lifted effective Thursday, July 30.

Widespread rain in the areas with more in the forecast have raised the moisture of potential fuels in the area, reducing the likelihood of wildfires, the Forest Service said in a news release. Fire conditions and restrictions may be changed on short notice and the Forest Service is asking visitors to check land management agencies before a camping trip.

In addition, the Forest Service issued these reminders on fire safety for visitors of federal lands:

  • 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. Always use an ashtray 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.