canada africa partner reservation Bureau of Land Management implements fire restrictions due to increased fire risk

Bureau of Land Management implements fire restrictions due to increased fire risk

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Starting today, Stage 1 fire restrictions are in effect in Central and Western Arizona, including Yuma County, due to increased fire risk.

The Bureau of Land Management says 530 fires have burned more than 47,000 acres in Arizona this year alone, some in Yuma along the Colorado River.

One of those was the “Refuge Fire” that burned just north of Lake Martinez last week and was ignited by a flare gun.

BLM says more than half of the fires this year were caused by humans. They share some of the restrictions to help reduce human-caused fires as the weather becomes drier and warmer in the coming months.

Restrictions include limited smoking, cutting or welding on public property, recreational target shooting and building a wood or charcoal fire outside a developed area. If you are not in a developed campground with BLM managed land, you may use gas stoves that can be turned on and off.

BLM does not restrict vehicles, but they do say you should make sure your vehicle is in good condition to limit vehicle-caused fires.

“If you don’t have those chains connected properly… they drag and cause sparks,” said Dolores Garcia, Arizona Bureau of Land Management. “Even if your tires are not properly inflated, that rim can cause sparks on the pavement, causing a wildfire.”

BLM says the restrictions will remain in place during the extreme peak periods of the fire season, which will last several months.