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Tonto National Forest to continue closing areas impacted by Bush Fire

(Facebook Photo/Tonto National Forest)

PHOENIX – Areas impacted by the Bush Fire in the Tonto National Forest will remain closed, the Forest Service announced Wednesday.

The forest’s new closure order, which went into effect Friday, warns of flood hazards and debris flow during the monsoon and other rainy seasons.

This closure order will last until March 31, 2021 unless it is rescinded at an earlier date.

Bush Fire, which was sparked by a vehicle fire June 13, burned about 192,412 acres of the Tonto forest. It was fully contained on July 4.

Areas of the Tonto forest that were under Stage 3 Fire Restrictions have been downgraded to Stage 1 and reopened Friday, according to the Tonto Facebook page.

Campfire and charcoal fires are only allowed in specific areas and inside fire rings and pedestal barbecues that the Forest Service set up. Open fires remain prohibited.

Recreational target shooting will also not be allowed.

This order will remain in effect until Sept. 30, unless it is rescinded earlier.

While many large group camping sites remain closed, the Forest Service said some single vehicle and small group sites in those areas are open and to call the ranger station to confirm.

Sites that will be under Stage 1 restrictions and allow campfires include:

  • Payson Ranger District
  • Tonto Basin Ranger District
  • Cave Creek Ranger District
  • Lower Verde Recreation Area
  • Mesa Ranger District
  • Saguaro Lake
  • Lower Salt River
  • Globe Ranger District

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