Fire restrictions lifted at Tonto National Forest near Phoenix
PHOENIX – Officials at Tonto National Forest in Arizona have lifted restrictions on building campfires, smoking and target shooting.
The restrictions, which were lifted Wednesday, had been in effect since June, shortly after the Woodbury Fire ignited in the forest east of Phoenix.
As the wildfire moved closer to more populated areas, about 200 people living near Roosevelt Lake were evacuated.
The fire eventually surpassed 120,000 acres, eating through vegetation that grew during a wetter-than-usual winter.
Woodbury became the fifth-largest blaze in state history.
Weather also played a part in reversing the forest shutdown.
Forest officials said recent rain and humidity helped decrease the risk of wildfires.
“It was an exceptionally dry summer monsoon, and we appreciate everyone’s efforts to prevent wildfires,” Forest Supervisor Neil Bosworth said in a statement.
Visitors will be able to build campfires and smoke outside designated areas.
Target shooting will be allowed in dispersed areas but not near homes or developed recreation areas.
The Tonto National Forest was the only one in Arizona to implement fire restrictions this year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.