Fire restrictions in effect on State Trust Lands

July 1, 2009

PHOENIX – The Office of the State Forester have implemented fire and smoking restrictions that started on Thursday, June 25, 2009, in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and other state, Federal and local government entities.

The restrictions have become necessary due to developing hot, dry weather along with annual plant growth which contributes to an increasing fire danger. These conditions greatly increase the risk of major wildfires.

The restrictions will apply to all State Trust Lands within Mohave County. The restrictions will remain in effect until July 31, 2009 or until further notice.

The restrictions are as follows:
• Building, maintaining, or using a fire, campfire, or charcoal burning device except as specifically permitted by the State Forester on a case by case basis is prohibited. Petroleum fueled stoves, lanterns, or heating devices are exempt from these restrictions.
• Using fireworks as defined in ARS § 36-1601 is prohibited.
• Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, building, developed campground, or stopped in an area at least 10 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials is prohibited.
• Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with an open flame is prohibited.
These restrictions apply to all permits and leases issued by the State Land Department and holders of hunting and fishing licenses.

Tonto Pass program:  Costs increase if you’re without a pass

July 1, 2009

PHOENIX – Thousands of people planning to celebrate July 4 on the Tonto National Forest need to remember to have handy their Tonto Pass, a daily pass that must be purchased ahead of time from one of over 200 vendor locations statewide.

“Although the program is almost three years old, there are still some people out there who haven’t gotten the word about these changes,” said Delvin Lopez, Tonto public service group leader. “When they arrive at such popular sites as Saguaro Lake, and find out they have to turn around and go buy a pass before they can put their boat in the water, they are understandably upset.” 

As the forest gears up for another busy July 4 weekend, Lopez reminds visitors that the Tonto Pass Program provides opportunities to purchase daily passes and watercraft stickers near visitors’ homes at a time convenient to them – or at a variety of locations on the way to their forest destination.

Lopez describes recent program changes, “We have spent several years educating the public about this program.  Now we’re moving into a period of increased compliance.  We have been giving Notices of Non-compliance to visitors who don’t have their passes – which normally cost twice the amount of the Tonto Pass (either $12 or $20) – but now, we will be issuing Violation Notices to visitors which will will cost them $56 - $60, depending on whether they are without a watercraft sticker as well as a daily pass.

Many retail vendors have agreed to work in partnership with the forest, providing over 200 outlets where the passes and stickers can be purchased.  Outlets are concentrated in the Phoenix metropolitan area and nearby forest locations, but others are located in Tucson, Flagstaff, Prescott, Casa Grande, Globe and Payson. A list of participating outlets is available on the forest website at