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Fire restrictions for Tonto National Forest to continue through October

(Facebook Photo/Tonto National Forest)

PHOENIX — Fire restrictions for the Tonto National Forest were extended through the end of October as dry conditions and hot temperatures continue to impact Arizona, officials said Tuesday.

Stage 1 fire restrictions in the forest were set to expire Wednesday, but the lack of moisture from the monsoon season has kept fire danger at high levels.

Firefighters are currently battling the Sears Fire in Tonto National Forest, which had burned 14,241 acres with 15% containment as of Tuesday morning.

“We appreciate the public’s cooperation during this unprecedented season of extreme fire danger,” Acting Forest Supervisor Tom Torres said in a press release. “The Tonto National Forest is still experiencing an active wildfire season.”

Stage 1 fire restrictions are put in place to prevent wildfires caused by campfires and smoking.

Under the restrictions, fires, campfires, charcoal, coal and wood stoves are prohibited, except within a developed recreation site.

Smoking is also prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle, building or a developed recreation site.

The Sears Fire started Friday afternoon near Forest Service Road 24 and the Sears Kay Ranch, about 20 miles northeast of Cave Creek, and had been spreading through dry grass and brush.

It destroyed at least four homes and 10 outbuildings, the U.S. Forest Service said.

Over 800,000 acres have been destroyed by wildfires in Arizona this year.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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