For Release: June 1, 2011
Contact: Lori Cook, 928-317-3243 or cell 928-246-8560
Mittry Lake Road and Boat Ramp Re-Open Today
(Yuma, Ariz.) – Bureau of Land Management (BLM), along with Arizona Game and Fish Department, Bureau of Reclamation, and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), re-opened the Mittry Lake area this morning at 6 a.m., including the boat ramp and road. The Betty’s Kitchen Watchable Wildlife Area will remain closed until further notice due to public safety issues. The areas had been closed due to public and firefighter safety during the human-caused Laguna Fire that started on Wednesday, May 18, 2011.
“Since this area is prone to ash pits, we are asking the public to stay away from the burned area at this time,” said BLM Fire Management Officer Michael Trent. “Ash pits are areas where trees have burned underneath the surface and have created a cavity underground that can stay hot for several weeks. When walked on, the cavity can cave in and cause serious burns.”
The BLM, Quechan Indian Tribe, and BIA are working together to rehabilitate the acres destroyed by the Laguna Fire. BLM will submit a plan that will cover Betty's Kitchen Watchable Wildlife Area, in addition to the 547 acres of wetland and marsh habitat lost in the fire, and a request for funding to the Department of the Interior Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation program. Funding allocated to this rehabilitation effort must be completed within three years of the fire's containment date. As funding becomes available, BLM will reach out for volunteers from the local community to help with the rehabilitation effort.
The public is reminded that fire restrictions continue to be in effect in for public lands administered within the BLM Yuma and Lake Havasu Field Office jurisdiction which include:
· No fireworks, flares, or other incendiary devices.
· No open campfires, charcoal grills, and stove fires. Campfires and charcoal grills are permitted in developed recreation sites or improved sites where agency-built fire rings or grills are provided. The use of petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, or heating devices is allowed, provided such devices meet the fire underwriter’s specifications for safety.
· No smoking. Smoking is restricted to enclosed buildings, within a vehicle and on a paved or surface road, within a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least six feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
· No welding or the use of any torch or metal cutting implement.
The restrictions will continue until conditions warrant rescinding. Violations of these restrictions are punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 and/or imprisonment of not more than 12 months.
For fire restriction information in Arizona and New Mexico:
Call Toll Free: 1-877-864-6985
Visit the website: www.publiclands.org/firenews