Coconino, Kaibab Forest and County fire restrictions end tomorrow

FLAGSTAFF — In coordination with area partners such as the U.S. Forest Service and the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, Coconino County will remove fire restrictions at 8 a.m., Tuesday, July 18.

Significant moisture and fewer wildland fire starts throughout northern Arizona has brought has decreased the fire risk in the region. When local area U.S Forests lift fire restrictions, the Coconino Wildland Defense Ordinance allows for Coconino County Emergency Manager Whitney to remove restrictions.

Several areas in the region may have received less precipitation, causing fire danger to be higher in some locations. Residents and visitors are asked to use caution when using equipment or items that can spark a fire. They are also asked to extinguish all campfires, operate ATVS and motorcycles with spark arrestors and to use caution when operating barbeque grills. Residents and visitors are reminded they can be legally responsible for causing wildfires.

The County Enacted Stage 2 fire restrictions on June 22 due to very high wildfire danger in the area and went back to Stage 1 fire restrictions at the onset of the monsoon, July 13.

The Coconino and Kaibab forests have lifted their restrictions, also. The Coconino has been under Stage 2 fire restrictions while Kaibab remained in Stage 1 since mid-June.

“With the monsoon moisture we have received, the decreasing fire danger, and the availability of many firefighting resources, fire officials on both forests collaboratively decided it is the appropriate time to lift all fire restrictions for the Coconino and Kaibab,” said Jason Clawson, fire staff officer for the Kaibab National Forest. “Fire restrictions are a great tool for us in preventing unwanted, human-caused fires, and we’d like to thank our visitors for their vigilance in being cautious with potential ignition sources while recreating in the forests.”

The Coconino and Kaibab forests initially implemented campfire and smoking restrictions on June 13, in order to protect public health and reduce preventable, human-caused wildfires. While fire restrictions will be lifted over the next two days, visitors are always expected to use caution with campfires and other potential ignition sources. Campfires should always be completely extinguished and never left unattended or abandoned.

The task ahead is to remind people that they still have to be careful with camp fires. First you are required to have a shovel and enough water on hand to put out the fire out when you leave. A camp fire is NOT a bonfire. You should only build a fire that you can control. Remember winds can kick up and distribute sparks over a wide area.