A “public safety recreation closure order along Roosevelt Lake to protect recreational visitors” has been issued. It starts today, Oct. 9th, and lasts until March 15th, 2021, if the order isn’t lifted sooner. Officials note, “The purpose of this order is to protect public health and safety due to flooding concerns for persons recreating or camping in the area. Campsite closures include Orange Peel, Bermuda Flat, Cholla Bay and Bachelors Cove.” Further details below:
“Pursuant to 16 U.S.C. § 551 and 36 C.F.R. § 261.50(a), the following is prohibited on all National Forest System lands within the restricted area as described in the order: entering or using the restricted areas (developed recreation sites or portion thereof) 36 C.F.R. § 261.58(b).
“We’ve implemented this closure as a precaution since there’s been an increased risk for a high-flow flood event in the drainages leading down to the recreation sites along Roosevelt Lake,” said District Ranger Kelly Jardine. “We can’t take any chances. The protection of the public and our employees is a priority for the Tonto National Forest.”
While the Bush Fire closure area has been reduced to allow more access throughout the area, visitors traveling within a burned watershed are reminded to use caution and to check the latest weather forecasts for rain which has the potential to produce debris flows from modest rainfall. Potential hazards include loose rocks, rolling debris on slopes and fire weakened trees that can fall. Avoid drainages, washes and creek bottoms. Designated roads have the potential to be degraded or impassable after storm events.
Any violation of this prohibition is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor by a fine of not more than $5,000 for individuals or $10,000 for organizations, or by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, or both (see 16 U.S.C.551, 18 U.S.C.3571(b)(6), 18 U.S.C.358l(b)(7). Further information regarding this order may be obtained by contacting the Tonto Basin Ranger Station at (602) 225-5395 or visit the Tonto National Forest alerts webpage at https://bit.ly/3jGJF0Q. This order supersedes any previous orders prohibiting the same acts covered by this order.
Pursuant to 36 C.F.R. § 261.50(e), the following persons are exempt from this order: persons with a written Forest Service authorization specifically exempting them from the effect of this order and any Federal, State, or local officer, or member of any organized rescue or firefighting resource in the performance of an official duty.
Stage 1 fire restriction are currently in effect across the Tonto National Forest. Visit our website for additional information at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/tonto/alerts-notices.”