Associated Press

A plan to widen hundreds of miles of camping corridors south of the Grand Canyon is drawing opposition from conservationists.

The Arizona Daily Sun reports that Kaibab National Forest officials say popular corridors to the canyon's South Rim will be expanded from 30 feet to 300 feet over the next three years.

The limit is 300 feet in several other forests in Arizona.

The proposal means opening access to an additional 21,000 acres for off-road camping as well as 24 miles of official road within two forest districts.

Officials say illegal drones are hampering efforts to contain a wildfire threatening communities in eastern Arizona.

Navajo County spokesman Adam Wolfe said Thursday that drone operators have been flying near the roughly 70-square-mile blaze. Airspace over the fire, which is 2 ½ miles north of the Cedar Creek community, is under a temporary flight restriction.

Phoenix police have arrested four people for blocking parts of a major downtown road at a protest outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement building in Phoenix.

Police moved the crowd off the street at around 12:30 p.m., but four protesters remained including two who chained themselves to ladders.

Activists cheered as handcuffed protesters were placed into squad cars and then calmly dispersed shortly after.

Last year, a French couple died while trying to make sure their 9-year-old son had enough water on a broiling summertime outing at a New Mexico national park.

This past weekend, two Germans visiting Arizona for a conference died after taking a hike in perilous, record-breaking heat.

The U.S. Southwest has seen its share of heat-related visitor deaths.

Amid another staggering heatwave, local governments and businesses in the region are increasing their efforts to alert tourists when summer rolls in and safe outdoor conditions roll out.

Arizona Department of Economic Security officials say a state lawmaker has been indicted on felony fraud and other charges for lying on her application for food stamps.

The charges of fraud, theft and unlawful use of food stamps against Rep. Cecilia Velasquez were announced Wednesday by DES Director Tim Jeffries.

The indictment issued by the state grand jury was unsealed Monday. Velasquez is set to appear in court on July 5.

The 42-year-old Litchfield Park Democrat didn't immediately return calls to her cellphone seeking comment.

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