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May 23, 2013 1:10 PM by Faye DeHoff

Tips to remember when enjoying Coronado Forest this weekend

TUCSON - Coronado National Forest officials are expecting large numbers of visitors to the forest's most popular campgrounds and picnic areas over Memorial Day weekend. The following are tips to help make weekend outings enjoyable and safe.

Campfires, Smoking and Fireworks:

Due to increased fire danger, the Coronado National Forest has implemented fire restrictions at all locations on the Forest. Restrictions will remain in place until December 31, 2013 or until they are rescinded due to decreased fire danger. The restrictions are necessary to protect public health, safety and National Forest System lands, resources and facilities.

Current prohibitions on all ranger districts of the Coronado National Forest are:

1. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove fire, except within a Forest Service provided metal fire ring or grill in a developed campsite or picnic area.
2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, 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. Possesing, discraging, or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device.

Prohibitions are temporary and will be lifted when fire restrictions expire. Violation of the prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations, imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. Fireworks are always prohibited on National Forest lands.

Dispersed Use/Off-highway Vehicles:
Dispersed picnicking and camping outside of developed recreation areas on the Forest is allowed unless otherwise posted. Visitors must provide their own water and pack out their garbage using the "pack it in, pack it out" principle. Off-road/off-trail vehicle travel is prohibited.

International Boundary Travel Caution:
Forest visitors traveling in remote areas of the Coronado National Forest in the vicinity of the International Boundary adjacent to Mexico are advised to remain alert to their surroundings as illegal smuggling activity is known to occur in those areas. If illegal activity is observed, visitors are encouraged to contact the nearest law enforcement agency with descriptions of persons, vehicles, location, date/time and other pertinent information.

For Ranger District and Recreation Area Information:
· Santa Catalina Ranger District (Mt. Lemmon, Sabino Canyon) - (520) 749-8700.
· Nogales Ranger District (Santa Rita Mountains, Madera Canyon) - (520) 281-2296.
· Sierra Vista Ranger District (Huachuca Mountains, Miller Peak Wilderness) - (520) 378-0311.
· Safford Ranger District (Mt. Graham) - (928) 428-4150.
· Douglas Ranger District (Chiricahua Mountains, Dragoon Mountains) - (520) 364-3468.
· Coronado National Forest Headquarters - (520) 388-8300.

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