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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions May 2, 2016

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.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2013
Article comment by: Mary Heartman

@ Not wet winter
That puzzled me, too. Thanks for checking it out and confirming our local memories.

Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Article comment by: Not wet winter

The head's up about fire is right on, but had to double check the year on this editorial to see if I was reading the "Arizona had a wet winter" line correctly.

No, we did not have a wet winter, especially here in the Verde.

December and January were OK, but February and March were below average.

Cottonwood had zero rain in April.

Just a tiny sprinkling in May. No rain in sight now.

Don't be surprised if we don't see another drop until the monsoons start.

Hopefully they'll be early this year.

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