The temperature creeping toward the 100-degree mark before a three-day weekend evokes thoughts of a cool mountain retreat and roasting marshmallows around an open campfire.

Before you pack up, note that fire restrictions go into effect today in most of Arizona's national forests. The state is entering its tinderboxlike period before summer rains arrive in early July.

Flicking a cigarette butt out a car window or leaving campfire embers can ignite a destructive wildfire.

As the Star reported Tuesday, Stage 1 restrictions go into effect this morning, allowing charcoal and wood fires only in developed campgrounds or picnic areas. Smoking is permitted only in vehicles, buildings and improved recreation areas with a 3-foot buffer from flammable materials.

If you plan to enjoy the outdoors this weekend, adhere to the fire restrictions. Importantly, do not leave a campfire unattended, and make sure it is completely doused and cool to the touch before you leave it.

Arizona Daily Star

More info

Restrictions for all Arizona forests are listed online at: