FLAGSTAFF—As we head into the Fourth of July holiday, Coconino County reminds residents and visitors that while the sale of consumer fireworks is legal in Arizona, the County’s current fire ban prohibits their use.
On May 16, the County Board of Supervisors imposed a ban on open burning in unincorporated areas of the County – including on private property – until extreme fire conditions improve. Included in that ban is the use of fireworks, other pyrotechnic displays, all open fires and campfires (in both developed and undeveloped campgrounds).
“The continued lack of any measurable rainfall has resulted in extremely dangerous fire conditions throughout our county and the state,” said County Board of Supervisors Chairman Carl Taylor. “It’s prudent for everyone to use the strictest caution when using anything that could spark a fire. A wildfire can burn for weeks, but their impact is felt for decades.”
While the fire ban may not specifically ban every type of fire-causing activity, residents and visitors are asked to use their best judgment when considering whether to engage in any activity that could spark a fire. Residents and visitors are reminded that they can be held legally responsible for causing any wildfire.
County Sheriff’s deputies have been patrolling the region looking for those violating the County and US Forest Service fire bans. Those caught violating the County’s fire ban by using fireworks face up to 30 days in jail, one year probation or a fine of up to $500. Citizens are encouraged to check with other jurisdictions before using any fireworks. State law allows counties to restrict the use of fireworks when there is a risk of wildfire, but counties are unable to restrict the sale of fireworks.
In addition to the countywide fire ban, the following restrictions have been placed at all public County parks:
• Camping is permitted only in designated campgrounds at Fort Tuthill County Park;
• Smoking is strictly prohibited outdoors and only allowed in designated areas and/or in enclosed vehicles;
• Parking is prohibited on grassy forested areas and allowed in designated parking areas;
• Open fires are prohibited. This includes campfires, charcoal grills, torches, fireworks and candles. Only liquid gas stoves are permitted in improved areas (cleared of all vegetation, typically on a cinder or gravel surface).
Residents and visitors countywide are allowed to use (with caution) petroleum-fueled stoves or lanterns, and charcoal barbeque grills (with a lid that covers the entire grilling surface) operated in residential yards. Special events may be allowed, with the approval of the County Board of Supervisors.
Coconino and Kaibab National Forests also remain in Stage 2 fire restrictions. The fire ban in both forests includes:
• Open fires, including all campfires; charcoal, coal or wood stoves, including in developed campgrounds.
• The use of explosives.
• The use of any internal or external combustion engine without a spark-arresting device.
• Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
• The use of chainsaws between 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
• The discharge of firearms.