by Jim Nintzel
A bulletin from Pima County:
Due to extreme fire danger and concern for public safety, Pima County will close trails and trailheads that allow access to the Coronado National Forest and Rincon District of Saguaro National Park starting Thursday, June 9. Both the Coronado National Forest and the Rincon District will be closed to public entry on the same date.
The county is restricting smoking in Agua Caliente Park immediately and may also put into place smoking and open-flame restrictions in other parks. Restrictions will be posted at public access points at the affected parks. The public is encouraged to use extreme caution with any flammable materials in any park. Updates on county park and trail closures can be found at www/pima.gov/nrpr.
Closures are expected to be lifted once the summer rains, expected in late July or August, reduce the elevated wildfire threat to more normal conditions.
The temporary closures will apply to the following county trails or trailheads:
Iris Dewhirst Pima Canyon
Richard McKee Finger Rock
Avenida de Suzenu
Agua Caliente Hill
Cienega Creek Nature Preserve
Colossal Cave Road
Colossal Cave Mountain Park Arizona Trail Access
Davidson Canyon Cienega Creek
Catalina Regional Park
Permits for Cienega Creek Nature Preserve and Empirita Ranch will not be issued until the Coronado National Forest closure is lifted.
The county will lock county-controlled parking areas and install barriers across trails where vehicle access cannot be controlled. The U.S. Forest Service will also place closure barricades at the Coronado National Forest boundary on the same trails on Thursday.
Areas and trails that remain OPEN on county lands include:
Tucson Mountain Park
Sweetwater Preserve Trails Park
Anza Trail Canoa Ranch
Feliz Paseos Park
River Park Systems — Rillito and Santa Cruz
For information on local fire restrictions and closures on state and federal lands, the public can visit http://gacc.nifc.gov/swcc/.