Protecting Public Health and Safety - Restricted Access and Activities

Protecting Public Health and Safety

The purpose of these orders is to protect the public health and safety.  These orders reflect federal and state guidance to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

Abandoned campfires are the leading human cause of wildfire, so the USDA Forest Service is taking necessary steps to protect communities and our natural and cultural resources by implementing region-wide campfire restrictions. The purpose of this ban is to mitigate as much risk as possible to protect the health and safety of our wildland firefighters and first responders so they are available to safely respond and manage future incidents.  Wildland firefighters are not immune to this virus and we are implementing fire restrictions earlier than usual this year to reduce the exposure in responding to preventable human-caused fires. We are all in this together and the more everyone does right now to help prevent wildfires, the more resources will be available at the most critical times.

Forest Service officials are providing recreation opportunities where possible, while keeping employees, the public, and our communities safe from the COVID-19 virus. At the same time, we are preparing for an upcoming fire season during a global pandemic. Forest Service officials will review this guidance on an ongoing basis.

Please follow all social distancing, group size and guidance.

Recently Opened Recreation Sites

The Southwestern Region continues to implement a state by state strategy for phased reopening of developed recreation sites based on risk assessments and available cleaning supplies. The vast majority of the National Forests acres remain open for dispersed camping and use. Changes occur weekly across the region, generally taking effect each Friday. 

Preparation and planning are key to reducing waste and minimizing natural resource damage. Respect wildlife and be considerate of other visitors. Leave what you find, Pack it in, Pack it out and Leave No Trace.

Developed Recreation Sites Closure - Order Number 03-00-00-20-014

  •  Entering or using a developed recreation site or portion thereof  is prohibited
  • "Developed recreation site" means an area which has been improved or developed for recreation, as defined in 36 C.F.R. § 261.2.

Restricted Areas

Please see Full Order 03-00-00-20-014

Group Size Limit - Order Number 03-00-00-20-009

The group size limit order 03-00-00-20-009 restricts entering open areas with a group in excess of the number specified in any public health order.   All visitors still must comply with all current public health orders, including limiting the number of people in a group.  

The Restricted Area includes any areas and/or facilities in the following National Forests and Grasslands: 

  • New Mexico
    • Carson National Forest
    • Cibola National Forest
    • Gila National Forest
    • Lincoln National Forest
    • Santa Fe National Forest
    • Kiowa National Grassland
  • Oklahoma/Texas
    • Black Kettle & McClellan National Grasslands
    • Rita Blanca National Grasslands

View Full Order 03-00-00-20-009

Fire Restrictions

To minimize health and safety risks to our visitors, employees and local citizens as well as to prevent accidental wildfires, a campfire ban remains in effect for the Region and a recreational shooting closure remains in effect on the Prescott, Tonto and Coronado National Forests in Arizona.  Additional Stage II fire restrictions are in place are in place on the Tonto and Coronado National Forests in Arizona and the Carson, Santa Fe and Cibola National Forests in New Mexico.  

Fire Restrictions - Arizona - Order Number 03-00-00-20-006

Pursuant to 16 U.S.C. § 551 and 36 C.F.R. § 261.50(a), the following acts are prohibited in the areas as described in this Order.

  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire.
Restricted Areas
  • Arizona
    • Apache Sitgreaves National Forests
    • Coconino National Forest
    • Coronado National Forest
    • Kaibab Natinal Forest
    • Prescott National Forest
    • Tonto National Forest

View Full Order 03-00-00-20-006

Fire Restrictions - New Mexico - Order Number 03-00-00-20-004

Pursuant to 16 U.S.C. § 551 and 36 C.F.R. § 261.50(a), the following acts are prohibited in the areas as described in this Order.

  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire.
Restricted Areas
  • New Mexico
    • Carson National Forest
    • Cibola National Forest
    • Gila National Forest
    • Lincoln Natinal Forest
    • Santa Fe National Forest
    • Kiowa National Grassland
  • Oklahoma / Texas
    • Black Kettle & McClellan National Grasslands
    • Rita Blanca National Grasslands

View Full Order 03-00-00-20-004

Firearm Restrictions

Pursuant to 16 U.S.C. § 551 and 36 C.F.R. § 261.50(a), the following acts are prohibited in the areas as described in this Order and as depicted on the attached Maps (“Restricted Area”), hereby incorporated into this Order as Exhibit A, within the National Forest System lands, administered by the Prescott, Tonto, and Coronado National Forests in the states of Arizona and New Mexico.

  • Discharging a firearm, air rifle, or gas gun. 36 C.F.R. § 261.58(m)

Restricted Areas

  • Coronado National Forest
  • Prescott National Forest
  • Tonto National Forest

View Full Order 03-00-00-20-007

Southwestern Region and Forest Orders Map

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/coronado/home/?cid=FSEPRD716261