The Tonto National Forest will rescind Stage 3 Fire Restrictions and implement Stage 1 Fire Restrictions at 8:00 am on July 31st 2020. The onset of monsoon activity across the forest, and a decrease in fire danger have prompted fire officials to decrease fire restrictions.
Apache Lake will reopen on July 31st 2020 at 8:00 am with Stage 1 Fire Restrictions in effect.
Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are as follows:
Pursuant to 16 U.S.C. § 551 and 36 C.F.R. § 261.50(a), the following acts are prohibited on all National Forest System lands within the Tonto National Forest in, Maricopa, Gila, Yavapai, and Pinal Counties, Arizona and as depicted on the Map attached hereto as Exhibit A.
1. Igniting, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire other than in a developed campsite or picnic area. 36 C.F.R. § 261.52(a).
2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three (3) feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of any flammable material. 36 C.F.R. § 261.52(d).
3. Discharging a firearm, air rifle, or gas gun. 36 C.F.R. § 261.58(m).
Under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions, cooking devices that are fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuel, that can be turned off immediately with no remaining burning material may be used in safe areas devoid of vegetation. Recreational target shooting remains prohibited at this time, however, legal hunting activities are permitted in areas not affected by a closure order.
Fire officials use several criteria to determine when to modify fire restrictions, including current and predicted weather, fuel moistures, fire activity and available firefighting resources. The current monsoonal moisture has decreased fire danger levels to allow campfires and charcoal fires in developed campgrounds and picnic areas, but only in Forest Service rings and BBQs. Open fires in dispersed recreation areas remain prohibited.
Campfires, and charcoal BBQs must be completely extinguished after use. Abandoned campfires continue to be a major cause of wildfires. Always keep enough water on hand, and a tool to drown and stir fires. If it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave.
Violators of the above restrictions are subject to fines and/or imprisonment.
For more information on Tonto National Forest Restrictions, and tips for responsible recreating, visit our website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/tonto, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.