An increasing threat of wildfires has prompted the Bureau of Land Management to put additional fire restrictions into effect on public lands surrounding Phoenix beginning Friday.
BLM officials said the restrictions are in effect until further notice for all public lands administrated by the BLM Phoenix District.
The areas include Agua Fria National Monument, Table Mesa Recreation Area, Boulders Staging Camp Ground north of Phoenix, the Back Country Byways west of Phoenix, the Sonoran Desert National Monument, Saddle Mountain Recreation Area, the Painted Rock Petroglyph site southwest of Phoenix and all wilderness areas.
Officials said the restrictions are necessary due to lack of winter rain, high temperatures and low humidity, creating conditions for the rapid spread of wildfires.
The restrictions could be increased as the threat of wildfires grows, officials said.
The BLM said people on those public lands can reduce the risk of fire by practicing safety, strictly adhering to the restrictions and the following fire prevention safety tips:
Do not build or use a fire, campfire, charcoal broiler or wood stove. Use of propane and petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns or heating devices is currently allowed.
No smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building a developed recreation site/improved site or while stopped in an area at least 10 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
No discharging of a firearm, air rifle, exploding targets or gas gun except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal or tribal laws and regulations.
Be aware that driving off-road over dry grass could ignite a fire; be sure that all vehicles and tires are in excellent working order; chains or other recreational equipment must not drag or dangle from the truck or trailer to the ground; secure all recreational equipment; it's always a good idea to carry a fire extinguisher.
Fireworks are never allowed on federal public lands.
Violations are punishable by a fine up to $1,000, or imprisonment up to 12 months, or both.
Fire restrictions for public lands may vary in other counties or jurisdictions in Arizona depending on the level of fire danger and can be found at: http://firerestrictions.us/az/
For information on fire prevention tips and restrictions in your area, contact your local BLM office, or visit the BLM website.
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