Federal law enforcement agents reported serving six warrants in the Valley on Tuesday to fire restriction violators.
The sweep, called “Operation Firestorm,” was meant to raise awareness about the dangers of illegally starting fires during fire season. Officials hope to serve all 25 of the outstanding warrants in the area.
The six offenders elected to pay their fines, the U.S. Attorney’s Office reported. Fire violations cost each offender as much as $5,000 in fines and/or six months in jail, said Tonto National Forest Supervisor Gene Blankenbaker. But the violators leave taxpayers with the bill for fire suppression and the rehabilitation of forest lands, which can add up to millions, he said. People with outstanding citations can pay them at www.cvb.uscourts.gov or by phone at (800) 827-2982.