We will start off with the obvious. Stage 2 Fire Restrictions are now in place.
Stage II Fire Restrictions implemented May 4. No Campfires. No smoking except in enclosed vehicles and buildings. No chainsaw use. No explosives, fireworks, tracer rounds or tannerite.
If you bring any guests, make sure they are aware of the Fire Restrictions. Absolutely NO Smoking outside of your vehicle. No Standing next to your vehicle smoking. You must be INSIDE your vehicle. Failure to obey this will result in you being asked to leave the campground and might get you suspended from the club or future activities. It sounds strict, but we like having our club on the local news, but not for starting a forest fire.
Operating or using any internal combustion engines, this includes chainsaws. Generators are allowed as long as they have an approved spark arresting device and are used within an enclosed vehicle or building or in an area that is completely cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the generator.
Ok, now that the critical issue is out of the way.
I will be calling up to the Forest Ranger today to see what their plans are. There are a ton of people claiming that they are closing the Forest to camping. I do not see any info on any of the National Forests websites as of right now. I have checked Apache-Sitgreaves (the one we will be in), and they are not mentioning that at all. Same with Coconino National Forest. Tonto is the same way. This sounds to me like a bunch of people spreading rumors at this point in time. I will call just to be sure, but at this point in time, if you hear these rumors, ask to find out where they heard this info. chances are, they heard it from someone who heard it from someone, who heard it from someone else, and the message just got twisted.
Also, this year one aspect of being up in the forest is the ability to hike, fish, etc. Willow Springs lake is a popular fishing lake. A few of us will be bringing fishing tackle. I highly recommend that you think about this as well. We will be taking a few crayfish traps up with us, and if we catch enough, we might do a crayfish boil for the group. We are encouraging everyone to not only have fun with radio, but take time to explore and have fun in the surrounding area. Frank says this area is great for Geocaching, so make sure you find a good geocaching app, go online and download geocaches in the area, and lets do some caching along with everything else. Remember, you don’t have to just come to play radio, get out and explore and have fun.