Spring in central Arizona brings wind, warm days, cool nights and is the season for yard work and getting outdoors to enjoy a hike, go for a bike ride, or camping. Fire Officials want to remind visitors that we all have a role to play in preventing human-caused fires. Fire dangers are not uniform across the landscape, some areas, due to more or less precipitation, varying elevation and temperature will dry faster than others. This means that fire dangers can vary over relatively short distances and can change quickly in short periods of time.
We ask our forest visitors to take responsibility in knowing the conditions in the forest; knowing when fire restrictions are in place; and to understand what is allowed and forbidden when fire restrictions are in place. We ask all of our local residents who live near or within the forest boundaries to know and understand the same important fire danger characteristics and precautions.
Don’t throw cigarette butts in the forest or out vehicle windows.
Keep your campfires small. Bring water and a shovel to extinguish your campfire.
If possible use an established campfire ring.
Build campfires away from overhanging branches, steep slopes, dry grass, pine needles and leaves.
Clear the ground to bare soil within a 10-foot diameter circle.
Never leave your campfire unattended. Even a small breeze could cause the fire to spread by carrying hot embers out of your fire ring.
When extinguishing your campfire, use the Pour, Stir, Feel method. Pour water onto your campfire. With a shovel, stir the ashes and embers, using dirt to help cool the fire faster. Gently feel with the back of your hand for any heat in your campfire. If it’s too hot to touch, than it’s too hot to leave. Repeat these steps until you are certain your campfire is Dead-Out. When it’s cool enough to stick your hand in, it’s cool enough to leave.
Fireworks and exploding targets are always prohibited on all national forest lands.
Pausing or parking a car or truck in tall grass or over shrubs can start fires. This not only may damage your vehicle but may also start a quickly moving fire. Do not park where vegetation is touching the underside of your vehicle.
Ensure trailer safety chains are not dragging and won’t come loose. Check that your trailer tires are in good condition to minimize the possibility of a flat tire and sparks from the wheels.
Check your lawn and property for large rocks before mowing. Mower blades striking rocks can create a spark.
Use and maintain spark arresters on motorized equipment including chain saws, ATVs, and motorcycles.
Refrain from welding and use of activities or equipment that may create a spark when fire danger is high.