Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 5:00 am | Updated: 3:13 pm, Tue May 15, 2012.
Springerville, AZ – May 15, 2012—Campfire and smoking restrictions will be implemented Friday, May 18 in Apache and Navajo Counties, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, and within local fire districts located in both counties.
White Mountain area cities, counties, and federal agencies, along with commercial partners that make up Northeast Arizona Public Information System (593 JIC), have been collectively planning for months to implement timely fire restrictions for public lands within the White Mountain area.
With extremely dry vegetation, the risk of wildland fire is extremely high. People who enjoy public lands in Apache and Navajo Counties can reduce the risk of fire by practicing fire safety and by adhering to fire prevention restrictions. The criteria officials consider before implementing fire restrictions include current and predicted weather, fuel conditions, fire activity levels, and available resources. Due to increasing fire danger, the following fire restrictions are deemed necessary to prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public health and safety:
• Fires, campfires, charcoal, coal and wood stoves are allowed in developed campgrounds only.
• These restrictions limit smoking to within enclosed vehicles, buildings, or in developed campgrounds.
• Pressurized liquid or gas stoves, lanterns, and heaters that can be turned off are allowed.
The fire restrictions will remain in place until lands within Apache and Navajo Counties receive significant precipitation.
White Mountain visitors are reminded that some campfire restrictions are always in effect, such as in forested areas within city limits of most northern Arizona communities. Additionally, fireworks are never allowed on National Forests. For more information about restrictions on public lands, call toll free 1-877-864-6985 or visit (http://www.publiclands.org/firenews/AZ.php and www.593info.org) or by dialing 593 or 928-333-3412.
Violation of the prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000, imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. Fireworks are always prohibited on National Forest land. Arizona state lands have imposed their own restrictions separately.