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US Tonto National Forest illegal party: 5,000 attended, forest service officials say

06:05  08 april  2021
06:05  08 april  2021 Source:   cnn.com

Authorities shut down illegal party with over 5,000 attendees in Tonto National Forest

  Authorities shut down illegal party with over 5,000 attendees in Tonto National Forest More than 5,000 people attended an illegal event in Tonto National Forest on Saturday amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, resulting in several vehicle accidents and one person being emergency evacuated.The U.S. Forest Service in the Arizona national forest said that officers were patrolling Saturday night when "a surge of people" were discovered coming to attend the event. The service said that over 5,000 people showed up, which placed "theThe U.S. Forest Service in the Arizona national forest said that officers were patrolling Saturday night when "a surge of people" were discovered coming to attend the event.

More than 5 , 000 people attended an unauthorized and illegal event at Tonto National Forest near Phoenix on Saturday, leading to multiple violations and one person being emergency evacuated, officials said .

The Tonto National Forest requires a permit application to be submitted and approved for all gatherings of over 75 people. Officers patrolling in the Sycamore Creek area Saturday night came across the unauthorized gathering. According to Phoenix TV station KPHO, forest officials say Authorities said violations included DUI, double riding, speeding, reckless vehicle operation, staging camps in illegal areas, blocking roadways, illegal use of fireworks and target shooting. By the end of the night, there had been seven vehicle accidents reported and multiple reports of stolen off-highway

More than 5,000 people attended an unauthorized and illegal event at Tonto National Forest near Phoenix on Saturday, leading to multiple violations and one person being emergency evacuated, officials said.

a close up of a light: The U.S. Forest Service estimated that more than 5,000 people gathered illegally at Tonto National Park © US Forest Service The U.S. Forest Service estimated that more than 5,000 people gathered illegally at Tonto National Park

Forest protection officers were patrolling near the Lower Sycamore Creek Recreation Area when they discovered thousands of people who were illegally gathered, the U.S. Forest Service wrote in a Facebook post.

The event resulted in multiple violations, including DUIs, speeding and reckless vehicle operation, blocking roadways, and illegal use of fireworks, the service said.

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Tonto National Forest officials have modified the Bush Fire public safety area closure order to allow more access. The modified closure order will be in effect this evening, Oct. “The Tonto National Forest is committed to protecting the public and is making this decision based on the best available reports from meteorologists and the Burned Area Emergency Response team post-fire assessments,” said Acting Forest Supervisor Tom Torres. “Leaving this area open during the storm not only endangers the public but it puts our employees and partners at risk if they have to respond to a

U.S. Forest Service - Tonto National Forest , Phoenix, Arizona. 33K likes. The Tonto National Forest in located in central AZ. At 3 million acres, it is the 2. A map identifying the Restricted Area is attached and made part of this Order as Exhibit A. 3. Any violation of this prohibition is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor by a fine of not more than $ 5 , 000 for individuals or ,000 for organizations, or by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, or both (see16 U.S.C.551, 18 U.S.C.3571(b) (6), 18 U.S.C.3581(b).

"Campers and partiers restricted access by taping off sections of the main road to designate their camping area and vehicles were parked all along the main roads. Two quads colliding -- one person was medevac'd out by helicopter due to the restrictions caused by the partiers," forest service officials said.

There were reports of seven vehicle accidents and several stolen off-highway motor vehicles, authorities said.

According to the agency, a permit is required for non-commercial groups of 75 or more to use or occupy forest service land.

Authorities asked the public to report all unauthorized events. "Don't be a part of the problem," the Facebook post said. "Report these illegal Facebook meet up events to our district offices."

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U.S. Forest Service - Tonto National Forest , Phoenix, Arizona. 33K likes. The Tonto National Forest in located in central AZ. At 3 million acres, it is the 2. A map identifying the Restricted Area is attached and made part of this Order as Exhibit A. 3. Any violation of this prohibition is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor by a fine of not more than $ 5 , 000 for individuals or ,000 for organizations, or by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, or both (see16 U.S.C.551, 18 U.S.C.3571(b) (6), 18 U.S.C.3581(b).

U.S. Forest Service - Tonto National Forest , Phoenix, Arizona. 34,252 likes · 502 talking about this · 372 were here. See more of U.S. Forest Service - Tonto National Forest on Facebook.

Scott Garlid, executive director of the Arizona Wildlife Federation, told CNN affiliate KPHO that his organization usually supports off-roading.

"It's something that a lot of Arizonans enjoy. But when you get that many people in one place, you're doing it to the detriment of other people who want to enjoy it and of course the wildlife itself," he said.

Sandy Bahr, director of the Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter, said she was horrified by images from the event.

"That many people engaged in those types of activities in one area, it's going to be super destructive," she said.

Tonto National Forest is the seventh-largest national forest in the United States with more than 2.9 million acres.

The Forest Service said there were seven vehicle accidents at the party. © US Forest Service The Forest Service said there were seven vehicle accidents at the party.

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