PHOENIX - A major public land management agency is joining others in imposing fire restrictions that will cover wide swaths of drought-stricken Arizona.
The Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management announced May 13 it will implement additional restrictions across the central and northern portions of the state starting May 14.
The restrictions apply to campfires, smoking, fireworks and welding, the department said in a statement.
The additional restrictions cover land owned and managed by the state in Gila, La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Pinal, Yavapai and Yuma counties along with the section of Coconino County south of the Colorado River.
"Our number one goal is to provide for the safety of the public and our firefighters. We ask that residents and visitors please abide by these restrictions as we enter into our most active period for wildfires,"’ DFFM Fire Management Officer John Truett said.
Beginning at 8 a.m. May 14, the following are prohibited:
- Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove fire, except within a developed recreation site, or improved site
- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building. Smoking is prohibited in all federal buildings.
"In addition, the BLM Phoenix District, BLM Colorado District, Prescott National Forest, and the Tonto National Forest will implement the following restriction: discharging a firearm, air rifle or gas gun, except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal, or tribal law, and regulations."
Fireworks and exploding targets are never allowed on federal or state lands, and target shooting is prohibited year-round on state lands. Officials say violation of restrictions is punishable by fine, imprisonment or both. Violators may also be held personally responsible for reimbursement of fire suppression costs.
Restrictions covering state land within Apache and Navajo counties took effect last week.
Other land management agencies that previously announced restrictions taking effect Friday include the Phoenix and Colorado River districts of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Coconino, Kaibab and Tonto national forests.
The Prescott and Apache-Sitgreaves forests implemented restrictions previously.
The one major wildfire currently burning in Arizona started Saturday about seven miles (11 kilometers) southwest of Crown King in southern Yavapai County and has since burned 8.6 square miles (22.3 square kilometers) of grass and brush.
Over 475 firefighters and other personnel were assigned to the fire which has prompted evacuations of several small communities and put the unincorporated community of Crown King on notice for possible evacuation.
Containment was estimated at 17% of the fire's perimeter as of Thursday.
For more information about restrictions, visit https://wildlandfire.az.gov.
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