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Bureau of Land Management sets seasonal fire restrictions

YUMA COUNTY, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - With an increase in wildfire activity, which is anticipated to peak as the weather continues to get hotter and drier, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is doing its part to keep western Arizona safe.

Starting Friday, May 26, BLM has seasonal fire restrictions in place in Yuma, Mohave and La Paz Counties.

Maintaining a campfire, using charcoal, coal, or wood stove fire, smoking, and discharging a firearm or gas gun are all prohibited.

Dolores Garcia, BLM Spokesperson adds, "That's restricted as well as in many places, the use of grinding a welding torch so working outdoors with metal that could cause a spark and again that's on BLM lands."

So before building a campfire, make sure you're not on BLM land or there could be serious consequences.

"In addition to having to pay for, we have fines but you might have to be responsible for paying for the suppression costs depending on how large that fire gets. We have many fires that are a million dollars a day for the resources we bring in," stated Garcia.

Tribal, federal, state, and local mandates are different, they may have some differences in their restriction notices. Variations are possible, and visitors should check with the most local office for area-specific restrictions and regulations.  

Henry Arnold, visitor from San Diego says he has been coming to Yuma for years to fish and fires have really changed the environment.

"Smoking, trash. I mean it's never good so when you put restrictions in, it makes it a lot better," Arnold says.

According to the Southwest Coordination Center, there have been over 350 wildfires in Arizona already this year and in 2022, there were over 1,200 fires that burned more than 145,000 acres.

Garcia shares how driving your car onto grass can even start a fire and can be prevented.

"The bottom part of your car from its exhaust system and that catalytic converter underneath your car gets hot enough to start a fire," mentions Garcia.

If you do happen to start a fire, call 911 immediately.

BLM said the restrictions will be released once the risk of wildfires goes down.

You can find the BLM-managed lands map HERE and learn more about BLM HERE.

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Vanessa Gongora

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