4/16/2014 10:32:00 AM Fire restrictions to begin Friday on four Northern Arizona Forests
Courtesy U. S Forest Service
The Fisher Fire south of Flagstaff is 90% contained.
With fire crews across the state this past weekend fighting three different wildfires, forests have already begun to clamp down on fire and sparks about a month earlier than normal. Stage one fire restrictions take effect on four forests Friday.
The Fisher Fire burned 145-acres over the weekend between Flagstaff and Lake Mary. Hotshots and forest crews quickly got a handle on the blaze by Monday night and are beginning to move out. But, a second larger fire near Sierra Vista has continued to grow in Brown Canyon. The Brown Fire is listed at 366 acres Wednesday and a Type 1 fire team has taken over the fire. The Lion Fire was quickly controlled on the Fort Apache reservation.
Here in the north, campfire and smoking restrictions are being implemented starting at 8 a.m. Friday, on the Coconino, Kaibab, Prescott and Tonto National Forests in order to protect public health and reduce preventable human-caused fires. On the Kaibab National Forest, restrictions will apply only to the Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts.
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. Fireworks are always prohibited on all national forest lands.
Except for the City of Prescott, which is joining the restrictions, no other city or town has limited burning, though caution is naturally expected.
This year given the dry winter and impacts of long-term drought on the forests, fire restrictions are very important. Fire restrictions will remain in effect until the forests receive significant precipitation.
"We are seeing conditions on the forests that warrant going into fire restrictions earlier than usual," said Coconino National Forest Supervisor Earl Stewart. "We could have a long fire season ahead of us, and we need members of the public to work with us to prevent human-caused starts."