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Mt. Lemmon Campfires OK: Weather Evaluated Daily but so Far Does Not Warrant Memorial Day Restrictions

May 23, 2007

By Tom Beal, The Arizona Daily Star, Tucson

May 23–You’ll be able to grill a burger in the cool pines of our state’s forests this Memorial Day, provided you show up early enough to stake out a developed campground or picnic spot.

In the Tucson area, the Catalina District of the Coronado National Forest, which manages the popular holiday spots on Mount Lemmon, has no smoking or campfire restrictions in place, said spokeswoman Heidi Schewel.

As always, you need a campfire permit if you are camping outside developed areas that have permanent fire rings and grills.

Schewel said fire conditions are evaluated daily as the summer progresses but so far do not warrant prohibitions.

Things are drier in the middle of the state where the Promontory Fire recently burned more than 4,000 acres of Tonto National Forest land beneath the Mogollon Rim, 20 miles northeast of Payson.

No fires, smoking or use of internal combustion engines are permitted in the Tonto, except in some designated campgrounds.

Above the Rim, on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, camping is prohibited south of Forest Road 300, the Rim Road, said spokeswoman Kate Barker.

Elsewhere in Apache-Sitgreaves, the popular summer playgrounds of the White Mountains, camping and fires are permitted.

To check on these or any other national forests, go to http://www.fs. fed.us/ and use the drop-down menu to access information about a particular forest.

The Prescott National Forest, the Kaibab National Forest and most of the Red Rock Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest will have prohibitions.

The Bureau of Land Management has restrictions on much of its managed land, but not in the Tucson and Safford districts in the southeastern corner of the state.

Fire is also restricted on Arizona state trust lands within Gila, La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Pinal, Yavapai, and Yuma counties.

There are no additional prohibitions in Arizona state parks, where campfires are always restricted to developed sites.

For information about fire restrictions on any public lands in Arizona, visit http://www.az fireinfo.com or call 1-877-864-6985.

–Contact reporter Tom Beal at 573-4158 or tbeal@azstarnet.com.

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Copyright (c) 2007, The Arizona Daily Star, Tucson

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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