Arizona national forests limit recreation sites amid coronavirus
PHOENIX – Amid the coronavirus pandemic, national forests in Arizona are taking precautions to keep visitors safe by closing recreation sites.
National forests in the state are still open for activities like hiking and biking, but the recreation services will be changed or suspended indefinitley, according to the U.S. Forest Service’s website.
Additionally, the forest service is advising against high-risk activities like rock climbing because search and rescue operations might be limited.
Tonto National Forest closed recreation sites in Cave Creek, Globe, Mesa, Payson, Pleasant Valley and Tonto Basin districts.
Coconino National Forest closed day-use sites, group campgrounds, heritage sites, rental cabins and single-use family campgrounds. The visitor centers at Red Rock Ranger Station and Oak Creek are closed as well.
Kaibab National Forest closed a handful of day-use sites. The forest also closed its rental cabins. The developed campgrounds are close, but they never opened for overnight camping season.
Prescott National Forest closed all developed recreation facilities including campgrounds, restrooms and cabins.
Coronado National Forest closed the Sabino Canyon recreation area visitor center and lower parking area. They’ve also closed the Cactus Picnic group site. The forest also said they’re closing seven rental cabins indefinitely.
Apache-Sitegraves National Forests started closing certain campgrounds, restrooms and recreation facilities on Monday. Their closures will remain in effect until May 1 and will be reevaluated as needed.
Visitors who made reservations for a national forest campground will be notified about refunds soon.
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To help contain the spread of COVID-19 health officials have issued the following recommendations:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.
- Refrain from touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Don’t make close contact with sick individuals.
- If you are sick, stay home.
- Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue away.
- Clean and disinfect objects that are frequently touched.