- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - Fire restrictions go into effect starting Friday in the Tonto National Forest in east-central Arizona.

Forest officials say the restrictions mean that most types of fire and fire-causing activities are prohibited across the entire forest.

Prohibited activities include target shooting, while smoking is prohibited except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or a developed recreation site.

Forest officials said they typically implemented fire restrictions earlier than now in recent years but that May storms and slower warming this year delayed the need.

According to forest officials, the fire danger is now high due to higher temperatures drying out the abundant grasses resulting from winter rains.

Violation of the fire restrictions is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment for up to six months.



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