Dry weather conditions lead to fire, smoking restrictions

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By Natalie Rivers By Natalie Rivers

PHOENIX - Fire and smoking restrictions on state trust lands are being implemented by the State Forestry Division.

The restrictions are in effect as of Wednesday and run through July 31.

State Forestry Division said the restrictions are a result of the increased fire danger from hot, dry weather conditions and heavy vegetation growth.

The restrictions apply to all State Trust Lands in Maricopa, Pinal, Yuma and La Paz counties as well as southern portions of Gila and Yavapai counties.

The restrictions are as follows:

• Building, maintaining, or using a fire, campfire, or charcoal burning device is prohibited. (Petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, or heating devices are exempt from these restrictions.);
• Use of fireworks as defined by Title 36, Public Health and Safety (ARS § 36-1601) is prohibited; 
• Smoking is prohibited except within an enclosed vehicle, building, developed campground, or in an area at least 10 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials;
• Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with an open flame is prohibited.

These restrictions apply to everyone with permits and leases issued by the State Land Department and holders of hunting and fishing licenses. State, Federal, and local fire and law enforcement officers, plus members of organized firefighting forces are exempt from these prohibitions while in the performance of official duties.

Information and tips on wildfire safety and preparedness can be found online at www.azsf.az.gov and www.azsf.az.gov/fire_information/default.asp