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Arizona forest authorities break up illegal party of over 5,000

(Facebook Photo/U.S. Forest Service)

PHOENIX – Tonto National Forest enforcement officers broke up an illegal party of over 5,000 people last weekend, authorities said.

At least one person was injured in an off-road vehicle accident and had to be airlifted from the Lower Sycamore Recreation Area on Saturday night, the U.S. Forest Service said. First responders on the ground couldn’t reach the scene because of traffic congestion.

Violators were cited for DUI, speeding, reckless vehicle operation, blocking roadways, illegal use of fireworks and improper target shooting, among other infractions, the Forest Service said in a social media post Tuesday.

The forest, northeast of Phoenix, requires a permit for commercial and noncommercial gatherings of 75 or more. Officials referred to the party as an “illegal Facebook meet up event.”

The agency said forest protection officers were on patrol when they saw the bash. Partygoers had cordoned off parts of the area to use as a campground and vehicles crowded the main roads.

There were also seven vehicular accidents and multiple reports of stolen off-highway vehicles, the Forest Service said.

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