Flagstaff, Ariz., April 28, 2015
Beginning this fire season anyone issued a citation for violating campfire and smoking restrictions on any national forest in Arizona will face a mandatory court appearance. Previously, citations issued for violating fire restrictions carried a fine that could be paid without appearing in front of a judge; however, anyone contesting a citation had to appear in court.
“The change in procedures reflects the Court’s ongoing concern regarding the threat fire season possess to all public lands in Arizona,” said U.S. Magistrate Mark Aspey.
National forest managers consider certain criteria to determine when to implement fire restrictions including current and predicted weather, forest fuel moisture, fire activity, and available firefighting resources. Currently, there are no campfire and smoking restrictions in place on any of the six national forests in Arizona, and the six forests are reporting low or moderate fire danger.
Public land management agencies monitor weather and fuel conditions to determine when it is appropriate and necessary to implement fire restrictions. Not all fires can be prevented if forest users are careless with fire. We need the public’s help in reducing the number of preventable, human-caused fires. Forest visitors are reminded to completely extinguish a campfire before leaving their camp site, and regardless of whether or not restrictions are in place, abandoning a campfire is always illegal.
For information on fire restrictions visit the website of any of the national forests or visit these websites: http://firerestrictions.us/az for fire restrictions across the state or visit http://wildlandfire.az.gov for Arizona fire information.