Thousands buy permits in Arizona to cut down Christmas trees

PHOENIX (AP) -- The tradition of families heading to the woods to cut down Christmas trees remains alive and well in Arizona as 40 percent of the permits for harvesting the holiday fixtures have been sold so far at six national forests in the state.

The permit sale that began last week at most of the forests has led to lines at some locations and caused the Coconino and Prescott national forests to sell out within just a few days.

More than 5,100 of the 12,700 permits available in Arizona have been sold.

The Kaibab, Coronado and Apache Sitgreaves forests aren't expected to run out of permits.

The Tonto forest plans to open its ranger office in Payson on Saturday and may do so again on Dec. 10 if there are remaining permits.