Wildflowers catch raindrops in Upper Sabino Canyon high in the Catalina Mountains. Photo taken July 7, 2014. -- Credit: Doug Kreutz / Arizona Daily Star

Doug Kreutz / Arizona Daily Star

Fire restrictions will be lifted, effective today,  on the Coronado National Forest, Saguaro National Park and other public lands in Southeastern Arizona — thanks to a bounty of moisture from monsoon rains.

Restrictions had been imposed on building campfires, smoking, shooting and other activities because of severe drought conditions that raised the risk of wildfires.

“Due to widespread precipitation across the area, additional rain in the weather forecast, increased relative humidity, and a rise in moisture in live and dead trees, brush and grass, it has been determined that the likelihood of wildfire has lessened to the degree that the restrictions can be rescinded,” said a news release issued by land management agencies.

Even with the restrictions lifted, officials emphasized that visitors to public lands should take measures to prevent wildfires. Among them:

  • Before going hiking or camping, check with public land management agencies for fire regulations, restrictions or area closures.
  • Metal fire rings or grills should be used where present. Wood placed on a fire should never exceed the size of the grill or fire ring.
  • If you’re building a fire on the ground (in areas where it’s permitted), the site should be away from adjoining or overhanging flammable material, and the ground beneath and around the fire should be cleared of all flammable materials. On windy days, fires should be avoided if possible.
  • Make sure a campfire is fully extinguished before leaving. Fires should be doused with water and dirt, and stirred with a shovel until completely cold to the touch.

Contact reporter Doug Kreutz at dkreutz@azstarnet.com.com or at 573-4192. On Twitter: @DouglasKreutz