For Release: May 9, 2008
Contact: Diane Williams, (928) 505-1250 Office; (928) 412-5007 Cell
Fire Restrictions Announced for Colorado River Area
Lake Havasu City, Ariz. – In an effort to prevent 2008 from becoming a devastating fire season, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has announced fire restrictions on 2.5 million acres of public lands along the Colorado River in Arizona and California.
Effective Wednesday, May 14, 2008, Stage 1 fire and smoking restrictions will be enforced on all public lands within the BLM Yuma and Lake Havasu Field Office jurisdictions, and will remain in effect until rescinded. These restrictions are similar to those being implemented at this time in other areas of the State.
The BLM is asking the public to use extreme caution when visiting public lands this summer. Currently there are no plans to close any areas along the Colorado River area to public use. The public is reminded that Stage 1 Fire Restrictions prohibit the following acts:
1. Open campfires, charcoal grills, and stove fires. Campfires and charcoal grills are permitted in developed recreation sites or improved sites, where agency-built fire rings or grills are provided. The use of petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, or heating devices is allowed provided such devices meet the fire underwriter’s specifications for safety.
2. Smoking. Smoking is restricted to enclosed buildings, within a vehicle and on a paved or surface road, within a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
3. Use of fireworks, flares, or other incendiary devices.
4. Welding or the use of any torch or metal cutting implement.
Violations of these restrictions are punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 and/or imprisonment of not more than 12 months.
While BLM hopes the weather and dry conditions in the area will not necessitate issuing fire restrictions beyond Stage 1, if conditions for increased fire potential progress during this fire season, Stage 2, 3, and 4 restrictions could become necessary. Stage 2 restrictions would prohibit any open fires, and limit off road vehicle travel, as well as use of internal combustion engines (such as chainsaws, etc.). Stage 3 restrictions would authorize partial closure of affected areas, and Stage 4 restrictions would call for total closure of affected areas.
National Wildlife Refuges in the area (Imperial, Cibola, Bill Williams River, and Havasu) continue to enforce year round fire restrictions.
For fire restriction information in Arizona and New Mexico:
Call Toll Free: 1-877-864-6985
Visit the website: www.publiclands.org/firenews