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PINETOP — Extreme and exceptional drought status, dry fuels, an uptick in human fire starts, coupled with upcoming critical fire weather, prompted the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management to implement fire restrictions in northeastern Arizona.

Starting Friday, May 7, at 8 a.m., the DFFM will implement Stage I Fire Restrictions on state-owned and managed lands within Apache and Navajo counties.

“Even with recent moisture in the area, dry conditions linger and fire activity continues to increase. We need to be proactive and current conditions in the White Mountains region warrant implementation of restrictions at this time. Fire restrictions provide another layer of safety to the public and our wildland firefighters,” said DFFM Fire Management Officer John Truett.

Restrictions apply to the following state-owned and state-managed lands within the above-mentioned counties including:

• All State Trust lands outside incorporated municipalities.

• All Game and Fish Commission Wildlife areas and department properties outside incorporated municipalities.

• All State Parks outside incorporated municipalities – State Parks will remain open with fire restrictions in place. Please refer to https://azstateparks.com/fire-safety/ – for park-specific fire restriction information.

• All Department of Transportation highway, right-of-way property outside incorporated municipalities, not owned by federal land management agencies.

Restrictions include:

• Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove, other than in a developed campsite or picnic area is prohibited. Exemptions include, a device solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off. Such devices can only be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the device.

• Smoking is prohibited unless it is within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site/improved site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barred or cleared of all flammable materials.

• Fireworks or another incendiary device are prohibited.

• Welding or operating acetylene or other torch devices with an open flame is prohibited.

Exemptions include:

• Any federal, state or local law enforcement officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting organization in the performance of an official duty.

• All land within a city boundary is exempted unless otherwise stated in a city ordinance.

All exemptions to these restrictions must be approved by the State Forester.

If local authorities have imposed stronger restrictions than those listed above, then the local restrictions shall apply.

These restrictions apply to all permit and lease holders and other authorized users of state-managed lands. These restrictions do not apply to private lands under ARS § 37-1303.

Restrictions are effective at 8am on Friday, May 7, and will continue until rescinded. For all statewide fire restriction information: https://wildlandfire.az.gov/

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