It's The Time To Enjoy (And Respect) Our Land
June 1, 2020
Tonto Has Implemented Stage 2 Fire Restrictions
The Tonto National Forest has begun Stage 2 Fire Restrictions in conjunction with other federal and state land management agencies in Arizona.
According to Tonto National Forest Supervisor Neil Bosworth, rising temperatures and an increase in drying trends of grass fuel loads resulting from above average winter moisture prompted the decision to implement these fire restrictions.
"Arizona's wet winter has created a carpet of grasses which are now cured and dry due to the recent high temperatures," Bosworth said. "With the escalating fire danger, we already have seen an increase in human caused fires on the Tonto. Implementing these fire restrictions with other area land management agencies will help prevent human-caused wildfires, reducing risk to firefighters and the public."
During Stage II Fire Restrictions, the following are prohibited:
Igniting, building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire, including use of charcoal or briquettes is prohibited on the Tonto National Forest.
o The use of stoves or grills that are solely fueled by liquid petroleum gas (LPG) are allowed.
Operating internal combustion power tools, such as a chainsaw or other equipment, between 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
o Generators with an approved spark arresting device in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the generator are allowed.
Welding, or operating any acetylene or other torch with an open flame
Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of any flammable material. Deposit butts and remains in an ashtray or inside a building; do not toss or discard on the ground.
Taiga Rohrer, Tonto National Forest Fire Management Officer, emphasizes the need for the public to be very careful while visiting the forest.
"The cured grasses are especially susceptible to the slightest spark, so it's important to avoid parking on or driving over dry grass," Rohrer said. "Motorists also should check to ensure any trailer chains don't drag, and check the condition of trailer tires and wheel bearing before travelling."
He noted that violation of these fire restrictions is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment for up to six months.
In addition to Stage II Fire Restrictions, target shooting restrictions also remain in effect on the Tonto through July 31. Under these restrictions, discharging a firearm air, rifle, or gas gun, except for persons engaged in legal hunting activities, is prohibited on the Tonto.
Fireworks and the use of exploding targets always are prohibited year-round on national forests.
For more information regarding forest recreation sites and fire restrictions on the Tonto National Forest, contact the Tonto National Forest at (602) 225-5200. The Stage II Fire Restrictions document and accompanying map can be found on the Tonto website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/tonto/home
For information on current fires burning in Arizona visit the Arizona Fire Restrictions website to view all fire restrictions in Arizona.
Recreate Responsibly At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
As parks make more areas available to the public, the NPS encourages you to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/visitors.html) to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and follow Leave No Trace principles (https://www.nps.gov/articles/leave-no-trace-seven-principles.htm) when you visit. Many land- and water-based activities are available however operations are being phased in and services are limited.
To enjoy a safe and enjoyable visit during the remainder of the summer season, visitors are encouraged to know and follow guidelines for desert and boating safety, including always wearing lifejackets when on the water and taking safeguards to prevent heat related illness. Life -hreatening dangers to avoid include swimming at marinas, flash floods, cliff jumping and carbon monoxide emitted by generators or engines that are running.
Springtime often brings high afternoon winds and anyone recreating on the water is advised to wear life jackets, including users of kayaks, canoes and paddle boards. Utah Law requires all boats to have at least one wearable U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket for each person on board. All boat passengers who are 12 years old and younger must wear a properly-sized Coast Guard approved life jacket whenever a boat is in operation.
Due to increased visitation expected during holiday weekends, visitors to any Lake Powell beaches are advised to take standard precautions for possible water-quality issues. This includes properly disposing of human and pet waste, practicing safe sanitation, washing their hands often and showering after swimming. For more information go to Lake Powell Recreational Water Advisory.
The NPS conducts thousands of search and rescues servicewide each year, many of which could be avoided with visitors planning and making responsible decisions. During the ongoing health crisis, it's critical that we make wise choices to keep our national park rangers and first responders out of harm's way. Please follow these Recreate Responsibly tips to safely spend time outside:
• Know before you go. Visit park websites for current park conditions and availability of restrooms and other facilities. Make a plan, follow the 10 Essentials (https://www.nps.gov/articles/10essentials.htm), and if you are sick, stay home.
• Keep it close. Follow the state and county orders governing the open status of the area you're considering visiting. The National Park Service is working closely with governors and state and local health departments as we increase access and services across the National Park System.
• Keep your distance. Recreate with the people in your household. Give others plenty of room whether you are on a trail, at a boat launch, or in a parking lot. Follow the CDC social distancing guidelines for staying six feet away from others. Be prepared to cover your nose and mouth if you're near others.
• Know your limits. Postpone challenging hikes or trying new activities while first responders, parks, and communities continue to concentrate on responding to the pandemic.
• Keep it with you. If you brought it, take it with you. Trash pickup and restroom facilities will continue to be limited in many park areas. Follow Leave No Trace principles.
The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health. Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on our website.