TUCSON - Campfires will soon be banned due to the worsening drought.
The Arizona Department of Forestry has announced fire restrictions for southern Arizona effective May 1st. Until rescinded, campfires, barbecues and wood stoves will be prohibited, including within developed recreation sites.
Also prohibited in southern Arizona:
- Using an explosive.
- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building. (Smoking is prohibited in all federal buildings.)
- Operating or using any equipment powered by an internal combustion engine, except motor vehicles.
- Welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
- Discharging a firearm, air rifle or gas gun, except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal, or tribal law, and regulations.
- Possessing or operating motor vehicles off National Forest System roads, including but not limited to cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, and ATVs, except for when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway, and except for parking overnight in Forest Service developed campground and trailheads.
The burn ban includes all districts of the Coronado National Forest, Saguaro National Park, Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, Coronado National Memorial, Chiricahua National Monument, Fort Bowie National Historic Site, Tumacácori National Historical Park, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, and San Bernardino, Leslie Canyon and Buenos Aries National Wildlife Refuges will implement campfire and smoking restrictions in southeastern Arizona.
Violation of restrictions on federal lands is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor, which includes a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual and up to $10,000 for organizations and possible imprisonment for not more than six (6) months or both. Violators may also be held personally responsible for reimbursement of fire suppression costs. Arizona and New Mexico state laws carry similar penalties.