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Large portion of Arizona moves into fire restrictions

This photo taken Wednesday, June 15, 2016 and provided by Kari Logsdon shows a column of smoke near Pinepoint, Ariz. The fire was reported midday Wednesday in the Show Low area of east-central Arizona. (Kari Logsdon via AP)

Arizona’s fire danger continues to climb as campfire and smoking restrictions go into effect Thursday on the Prescott National Forest and on state-owned and state-managed lands in Gila, Maricopa and Yavapai counties.

Fire restrictions on state lands were already in place for eight counties in southern Arizona.

Debbie Maneely of the Prescott National Forest said they were able to hold off on the restrictions until after the Memorial Day Weekend, but the heat and wind make that no longer possible.

“If you have a campfire, it has to be in a developed recreation site with metal fire rings or cooking grills,” Maneely said. “Smoking is banned except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or in a developed recreation site in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials. Target shooting is also banned, and fireworks are never allowed in our forests.”

The Coronado and Tonto National Forests are already under campfire and smoking restrictions.

Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management’s Tiffany Davila said they will implement “stage one” fire restrictions for all state-owned and state-managed lands in the aforementioned Gila, Maricopa, and Yavapai counties.

“We’re just coming into fire season,” Davila said. “We had a very active Memorial Day Weekend. We want people to enjoy their summer, but we want them to know that it’s dry and only going to get drier.”

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