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Increased fire dangers due to dry conditions

Posted at 10:17 PM, May 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-24 01:17:28-04

TUCSON, Ariz.(KGUN) — It's wildfire season and starting this Wednesday stage 2 campfire and smoking restrictions go into effect on state and federal grounds throughout Southern and Southeastern Arizona.

Tiffany Davila with the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire says she wants visitors to pay close attention to everything they do this time of year.

“Under stage 2 there’s no campfires allowed regardless of if you’re using a designated or developed campsite. There are no open flames of any type. If you smoke it must be in a car or enclosed building,” Davila said.

It’s also important to remember that smoking is prohibited in all federal buildings. The agencies involved include the Bureau of Land Management, Coronado National Forest and the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management.

"There’s no target shooting or use of fireworks year-round,” Davila said.

Officials also want to make sure you clear your area of grass and anything else that can fuel a fire.

“We’re starting to see an increase in our fire activity. Our temperatures are starting to warm up. We really haven’t had any precipitation for the last couple of months and our fuel bed is very dry,” Davila said.

While fire works and exploding targets are not allowed there are some things you can do on site.

"They can use any device that is fueled off liquid petroleum. If they have a ring that’s fueled by LPG that can be turned on and off with a switch you can. Any type of fire pit or campfire that has wood or charcoal none of that is allowed,” Davila said.

If you violate the restrictions, you can face fines prison or both and be held responsible for paying to put out a wildfire if a fire starts. The restrictions will be in place until further notice.

"You can be at risk of paying for all of the fire suppression costs. It's not cheap to put out a wildfire especially if you’re utilizing aircraft. Cost can run in to the millions of dollars to put out if these fires,” Davila said.

WILDFIRE SAFETY RESTRICTIONS AND GUIDELINES: https://wildlandfire.az.gov/fire-restrictions

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Shawndrea Thomas is an anchor and investigative reporter for KGUN 9. Shawndrea is living her dream as a journalist who’s passionate about making a difference. Share your story ideas and important issues with Shawndrea by emailing shawndrea.thomas@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.