In an effort to prevent future fires, such as the June 2011 Monument Fire that burned more than 30 thousand acres, Fort Huachuca fire officials have increased the fire restriction to 'very high' as of June 5.

In conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service, the fire condition in the Coronado National Forest and Fort Huachuca was changed to "VERY HIGH" as of June 5.

"Right now we are at 'very high' conditions which we are supposedly going to be in until about the 31st of July, unless we get some rain," said Bud Linardy, the Fort Huachuca deputy fire chief. "The public should use caution in the canyons and read the restrictions when you are in there. Don't go past the gates when they are closed, and maintain stability of lightning if you see some in the area when monsoons hit."

While fire restrictions remain at this level, the following acts are prohibited:

• Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove including fires in developed campgrounds or improved sites.

• Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building.

• Discharging a firearm except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal, or tribal laws and regulations.

• Operating any internal combustion engine, except operating motorized vehicles on designated roads so long as you park in an area free of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway.

• Welding, or operating acetylene or other torches with an open flame.

• Using an explosive.

Fireworks are always prohibited year-round on federal lands.

As a reminder, in accordance with Garrison Command Policy 14-019, all lit cigarettes or cigars will be properly extinguished and discarded in an enclosed receptacle.

Depending on current conditions, other restrictions may apply. Always check the current condition prior to an outdoor activity, as it can change at any time. To verify, call the local fire department or visit the Coronado National Forest website, http://www.fs.usda.gov/coronado.

On Fort Huachuca fire conditions are posted in five locations: the Sportsman Center, at each gate, and at the entrance of Huachuca and Garden Canyons.

For more information or non-emergency fire safety and prevention questions, call the Fort Huachuca Fire Dispatch, 520.533.2116.

"We haven't had any fires on the fort since the change to 'very high' restriction," Linardy said. "People are being very cautious. Keep up the good work and keep everybody safe. If you do see something, even off post, call the fire department and let us know."

Page last updated Fri June 13th, 2014 at 00:00