Recent moisture and cooler temperatures have allowed the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management (DFFM) to lift fire restrictions on state-owned and managed lands across Arizona.
Effective 8 a.m. Friday, Sept. 27, the agency lifted Stage I restrictions in Gila, La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave – south of the Colorado River, and Yuma Counties.
The lifting of these restrictions occurred on the same day the Bureau of Land Management lifted fire restrictions on federal lands they hold in the Colorado River region.
Stage I fire restrictions went into effect in June, but lingering dry conditions, an abundance of grass statewide, and a scarce monsoon season forced the agency to keep restrictions in place longer than normal.
During an average year, restrictions are typically lifted after the monsoon arrives in mid-July. Those storms bring widespread moisture, help decrease temperatures, and increase humidity. All of those elements are necessary to reduce fire activity.
Even though restrictions have been lifted, the public is asked to be "fire safe" when outdoors. Never leave a campfire unattended. Always be sure it is out and cool to the touch before leaving. If towing a vehicle or trailer, ensure tow chains are secure and never dragging. Never burn on windy days, and have water nearby if using any type of equipment that throws sparks. Target shooting and fireworks are not allowed on state trust lands.
Campfire, smoking and target shooting restrictions were also removed on the Tonto National Forest earlier this week (Sept. 24).