Coconino and Kaibab National forests implement fire restrictions Wednesday.

Santa Fe reservoir dropping rapidly. - NAG 05/17

Santa Fe reservoir dropping rapidly. – NAG 05/17

WILLIAMS—While the Santa Fe reservoir may look full from the dam side, a look at the other end tells a different story. Santa Fe and Buckskinner reservoirs filled up after the snow fall of the winter, but Kaibab and Dogtown lakes did not fill even close to capacity. With spring only half over, Santa Fe is already rapidly dropping to low-level.

This situation, of course, leads to the inevitable fire restrictions in the Coconino and Kaibab forests. The forest service will be implementing fire restrictions starting Wednesday, the 22nd. The dry, warm, windy conditions forecast over the Memorial Day weekend are likely to cause Red Flag warning conditions.

Under the restrictions, fires, campfires, charcoal, coal and wood stoves are allowed in developed campgrounds only. The restrictions also limit smoking to within enclosed vehicles or buildings or in developed campgrounds. Using a device that is solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off is allowed in areas that are clear of flammable materials.

Visitors to the area are reminded that they are subject to heavy fines or even arrest for ejecting cigarette butts from a vehicle and are encouraged to use the car ash tray. The Williams Visitors Center offers pocket ash trays that smokers can carry with them in town, but they are not authorized for use in the forest as a substitute for common sense.

Fire restrictions will be in effect until the area receives significant precipitation. That is not likely to occur unless the area receives heavy monsoon rains which usually occur around the beginning of July.