5/28/2013 1:09:00 PM Editorial: Fire Season means pay attention
No sooner did the U.S. Forest Service, the state, the county and the local municipalities declare a moratorium on all kinds of fires than a whole passel of people got an itch to burn stuff.
Folks, it’s Fire Season, as predictable as a late winter storm and more predictable than Arizona’s “monsoon” season. Though the state had a wet winter, conditions are dry and the wind has been nonstop for weeks.
Campfires have started fires already. A tossed cigarette has started a fire. Even hot parts falling off a big rig have ignited a fire.
It all means residents need to pay closer attention to what they are doing with lighted material and also keep up to date on fire bans. In the Prescott National Forest, for instance: “Campfires, charcoal grills, and stove fires (wood, charcoal, and coal burning) are prohibited on all Prescott National Forest lands, roads, and trails; except within developed recreation sites where grills and campfire rings are provided.”
Cottonwood currently prohibits all open fires and campfires, open flames like oil burning Tiki lamps and, of course, any kind of fireworks.
Camp Verde, too, currently disallows any kind of open burning unless you are grilling your dinner on a barbecue.
If they don’t already, all Arizonans should know the damage caused by one careless ember or misplaced ash. The traces of many years’ worth of forest fires remain on the landscape everywhere you go in the state.
If you do not know the current regulations and restrictions, call your local fire department or fire district. If you plan on a camping trip, check out the website of the forest you will be visiting. They all have a vested interest in keeping you informed of the fire danger that is just heating up.