Picket Fire 100 percent contained, cause unknown

Fire restrictions begin in Tonto National Forest

SUPERIOR – Firefighters had a brush fire that began on Mother’s Day, closing Highway 60 in both directions near the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Superior and Globe, 100 percent contained on Tuesday.

The fire, dubbed the “Picket Fire,” fueled by grass and Sonoran Desert brush, destroyed 1,336 acres and cost an estimated $220,000 to extinguish the fire.

The cause of the fire is currently unknown and under investigation.

Fire restrictions for the Tonto National Forest begin at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, May 11.
Most types of fire or fire-causing activities are prohibited across the entire Tonto National Forest, whereas building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or charcoal-burning device is prohibited.

Because of ongoing drought, dry forest conditions and exceptionally low relative humidity, restrictions also apply to smoking outside of a cleared area, operating internal combustion power tools, welding equipment or torches with open flames or discharging firearms except in taking game in accordance with Arizona hunting laws.

Fireworks are prohibited on the forest at all times.

A violation of fire restrictions is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment for up to six months.

Use of petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns and heating devices are allowed, while some developed campgrounds may be exempt from restrictions.

Contact the Tonto National Forest for more information at 602-225-5200 or visit

MAY 9, 2011

Fire restrictions on State Trust Lands

PHOENIX – Fire and smoking restrictions are being implemented by the State Forestry Division on State Trust Lands beginning Wednesday, May 11 at 12 p.m. noon and running through July 31 or until further notice. (Authority:  A.R.S § 37.623)

The restrictions have become necessary due to increased fire danger and are being implemented to prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public health and safety.

Contributing factors are weather conditions – high temperatures, low humidity and high wind; as well as the conditions of desert and forest landscapes statewide including dry brush and grasses.

The prohibition will apply to State Trust Lands statewide.

campfireThe restrictions are as follows:
• Building, maintaining or using a fire, campfire, or charcoal burning device is prohibited. (Petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, or heating devices are exempt from these restrictions.);
• Smoking is prohibited unless: it is within an enclosed vehicle, building, developed campground, or in an area at least 10 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials;
• Welding or operating acetylene or other torch device with an open flame is prohibited.

These restrictions apply to everyone with permits and leases issued by the State Land Department. State, Federal, and local fire and law enforcement officers as well as members of organized firefighting forces are exempt from these prohibitions while in the performance of official duties.

As always, fireworks are not allowed on State Trust Lands.

For fire restrictions on all jurisdictions statewide:

Information and tips on wildfire safety and preparedness can be found at: Arizona Interagency Twitter:!/wildlandfireAZ 

For more information on State Trust Land, visit the State Land Department website: