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Sat, July 20

Phoenix-area national forest enacts fire restrictions

A map shows the area in which fire restrictions have been implemented in the Tonto National Forest east of metro Phoenix. (Tonto National Forest/Courtesy)

A map shows the area in which fire restrictions have been implemented in the Tonto National Forest east of metro Phoenix. (Tonto National Forest/Courtesy)

PHOENIX — A national forest east of metro Phoenix implemented fire restrictions this weekend.

Visitors to the Tonto National Forest won't be able to build campfires outside developed areas. Smoking is allowed but only inside vehicles or buildings, or at developed sites. Target shooting is prohibited.

The restrictions start Saturday and come much later than last year. The forest enacted its first restrictions of 2018 in April and had closed some areas before Memorial Day.

Forest supervisor Neil Bosworth says hot temperatures this year and the growth of now dry grass from a wet winter led to the latest restrictions.

A wildfire also has burned nearly 20 square miles of the forest near Superior.

No other agency has implemented fire restrictions.

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