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Fire restrictions lifted for Southern Az

Following monsoon rains, fire restriction will be lifted for Southeastern Arizona beginning Friday, officials said.

Restrictions will be lifted for the Bureau of land Management Gila District, 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, and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Forest Service spokeswoman Heidi Schewel said in a Thursday news release.

Fire restrictions have been in place on campfires, smoking, and other sources of open flame in most of Southern Arizona since the first week in June, and in the Coronado National Forest since the beginning of May.

"Due to widespread precipitation across the area, additional rain in the weather forecast, increased relative humidity, and a rise in moisture in live and dead trees, brush, and grass, it has been determined that the likelihood of wildfire has lessened to the degree that the restrictions can be rescinded," Schewel said.

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Fire safety tips

  • Before going hiking or camping, check with public land management agencies for fire regulations, restrictions or area closures.
  • Metal fire rings or grills should be used where present. Wood placed on a fire should never exceed the size of the grill or fire ring.
  • If building a fire on the ground (in areas where permitted), a location should be selected which is away from adjoining or overhanging flammable material, and the ground beneath and around the fire should be cleared of all flammable materials. On windy days fires should be avoided if possible.
  • If you have a campfire, make sure it is fully extinguished before leaving the area. Fires should be doused with water and dirt and stirred with a shovel until completely cold to the touch.
  • If you are using a portable stove, make sure the area is clear of grass, pine needles, leaves, and other fine fuels. Prevent stoves from tipping and starting a fire.
  • Cigarettes should never be thrown out the window of a vehicle. Always use an ashtray to prevent wildfires.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles - pack out cigarette butts and burned materials from your camping area.
  • Never park a vehicle over dead grass; the catalytic converter can ignite the vegetation.
  • Maintain vehicle brakes, keep tires properly inflated, and shorten tow chains to prevent sparks.
  • Use caution while discharging a firearm, operating an internal combustion engine, welding, or operating acetylene or other torches with an open flame, or using explosives (where permitted).
  • Fireworks are always prohibited on federal lands.

Source: U.S. Forest Service