Four Arizona national forests have imposed campfire restrictions to reduce the risk of wildfire.
Restrictions take effect at 8 a.m. Friday, April 18, in the Coconino, Kaibab, Prescott and Tonto national forests.
Campers may have wood or charcoal fires only in developed campgrounds. In Prescott National Forest, campfires are prohibited at designated dispersed-camping sites marked by numbered metal posts.
Smoking is restricted to developed campgrounds, buildings or enclosed vehicles. Fireworks are never permitted.
"We're about a month early this year. It's been so dry," said David Albo, a spokesman for Tonto National Forest. "Snowpack and rainfall this winter have been 10 to 15 percent of normal."
The Salt River is already running at a low level and firefighters have responded to several wildfires, he said.
"Normally we wouldn't see this until the later part of May," Albo said. "(Fire season is) going to start sooner and may last longer depending on the monsoons."
Thanks to the mild winter and spring, people are already heading to the mountains to camp, he said, and the public's compliance is critical in preventing wildfires.
"We always have a problem with people who either haven't heard of the fire restrictions or just ignore them. We're trying to spread the word early this year."
Notable fires this month include the Fisher Fire, which burned 145 acres in Fisher Canyon southeast of Flagstaff and is 90 percent contained, and the Brown Fire in the Huachuca Mountains near Sierra Vista, which has burned more than 300 acres and is not contained.
"A lot of people come out and enjoy their national forests. We just ask them to be careful when they're out there and abide by the fire restrictions," Albo said.
Fire-restriction details: wildlandfire.az.gov.