KEARNY — The Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management is mopping up the remains of the Simmons Fire northwest of Kearny.

The fire broke out Wednesday afternoon and is now 70% contained at 20 acres. The fire was burning west of State Route 177 between Kearny and Asarco Ray Mine.

Four structures, including three possible homes, were destroyed in the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The department also announced that Stage II fire restrictions are in effect on state owned and managed land in Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, Pima, Pinal and Santa Cruz counties.

Under Stage II restrictions the following actions are prohibited:

  • Campfires and smoking outdoors even in an improved campground. Devices that use liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned off and on are permitted but can only be used in an area that has been cleared of all flammable material within 3 feet of the device.
  • Target shooting.
  • Fireworks of any kind. They are never allowed on state land at any time of the year.
  • Internal combustion engines.
  • Chainsaws cannot be used from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Welding or operating a torch with an open flame.
  • Explosives.

Exemptions to the restrictions include:

  • People who have a written permit that specifically authorizes a prohibited action.
  • Driving on a designated road, as long as the driver parks in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway.
  • Any federal, state or local officer, rescue personnel or firefighter in the performance of their official duties.
  • All land within a city boundary, unless otherwise stated by a city ordinance.

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa is a reporter covering the city of Casa Grande and the surrounding area, as well as Central Arizona College. She can be reached at