7/18/2013 2:59:00 PM Monsoon rains prompt lifting
of fire ban
The Coconino, Kaibab, Prescott and Tonto National Forests have lifted their fire bans in the wake of regular monsoon rains in the northern Arizona regions. Yavapai County has lifted the ban for northern and central areas, but kept the ban in place in the dryer eastern and southern sections.
Cities and towns throughout the Verde Valley will follow suit, effective today (Friday).
The four forests imposed fire restrictions in May when fire danger began increasing rapidly. Fire restrictions are a way to reduce the number of preventable, human-caused fires.
Forest managers lift fire restrictions when fire danger lessens.
While campfires will be allowed on the four forests, visitors are urged to use caution and follow basic safety tips. Forest users should never leave a campfire unattended. Aashes should be stirred using a shovel and mixed with dirt and water, making sure everything is wet and cold to the touch.
Sedona Fire suggests that lifting of the ban offers a good time to make your home Firewise by reducing flammable vegetation, trees and brush and low hanging limbs, relocating wood piles away from structures and keep roofs clear of pine needles and leaves.
While rains have reduced the chance of fire, any sustained period of dry weather and high temperatures once again increase the likelihood that a fire could escape control and cause significant property damage.
Exercise caution in using BBQ briquettes and campfires. Ensure all ashes are cold before disposal or dispersing. Keep a water source at hand for an added measure of safety when using open flame (garden hose or bucket of water).