Along the Spur Cross Trail_March 17.2016.jpg

Along Spur Cross Trail

As wildfires continue across the state, agencies at the federal, state and local level are all taking action to prevent fires closer to home.

Tonto Forest Closures as of June 25, 2021

Tonto Forest Closures as of June 25, 2021

Effective June 25, the Tonto National Forest entered into a Stage 3 Forest Closure, which will remain in effect until July 31, or until it is rescinded. In conjunction with that announcement, the State Land Trust announced its own closures, stating, “Due to extremely high fire danger, exceptional drought conditions, resource availability, and increased fire activity, the Department of Forestry and Fire Management and the Arizona State Land Department will implement closures to State Trust Land throughout Arizona. These closures are also in conjunction with our USFS partners.”

As of 8am June 25, closures were implemented on state-owned and managed lands in all 15 counties. All state-owned and managed lands are closed to entry for recreational purposes, including hunting, camping and off-road vehicle use. Target shooting and fireworks are prohibited year-round.

A Black-tailed Jackrabbit near the Spur Cross Trail-Mariposa Hill Trail junction. The relatively flat and open terrain in this area is prime habitat for these seldom seen hares._Au.t2020.jpg

A Black-tailed Jackrabbit near the Spur Cross Trail/Mariposa Hill Trail junction.

During the closures, several park trails and those segments of the Maricopa Trail that intersect with land managed by the agencies will not be accessible, which includes access points that intersect with the Tonto National Forest at Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area.

SpurCrossRanchConservationArea_QueenButterfly_May 29.jpg

A Queen Butterfly feeds on the flowers of catclaw mimosa along the banks of Cave Creek.

In a statement, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department said, “As an agency that is also in charge of protecting natural resources and park visitor safety, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department respects their decision to close the areas they manage.”

While these closures are in effect, the Parks Department reminds residents that there are many other segments of the 315-mile Maricopa Trail system available to explore. Trail maps can be found online

To stay up to date with closures around the state, visit land.az.gov or fs.usda.gov. |CST

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