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Forest Outside Metropolitan Phoenix Ups Fire Restrictions

PHOENIX (AP) — Rising temperatures and dried-out grass have pushed a national forest outside Phoenix into further fire restrictions.

Tonto National Forest supervisor Neil Bosworth said enacting State II restrictions will help prevent human-caused wildfires. Campfires already have been banned on all six national forests in Arizona until the end of June because of the coronavirus.

The Tonto’s restrictions that went into effect Tuesday also prohibit other open flames and limit the use of power combustion tools like chainsaws largely to daylight hours. Smoking is allowed in enclosed vehicles or buildings, or in an area that has been cleared of vegetation.

The state and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management also implemented the restrictions across much of Arizona on Tuesday.

Stoves or grills that use propane are allowed.

Violating forest restrictions comes with a potential fine of up to $5,000 and six months behind bars.