Verde Valley News – Due to warmer weather conditions, increased fire danger, and for public safety, Coconino National Forest will implement Stage 2 fire restrictions beginning 8 a.m. Thursday, May 26.
The forest has been under Stage 1 fire restrictions since May 5, which prohibit campfires across the forest and limits them to developed recreations sites only.
However, with warmer and windy weather, as well as key criteria being met, stricter fire restrictions will be implemented across the entire national forest–including developed recreation sites.
Stage 2 fire restrictions prohibit the following:
- Building, maintaining, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire, including charcoal, coal, and briquettes. This includes smudge pots and wood stoves. The only exception is using a stove or grill that is solely fueled by pressurized liquid petroleum or pressurized liquid petroleum gas (LPG) fuels.).
- Smoking (except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of any flammable material).
- Blasting, welding, or operating any acetylene or other torch with an open flame.
- During the hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., operating a generator, chainsaw or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine for felling, bucking, skidding, processing, road building and woodcutting during industrial operations or firewood gathering capable of igniting a fire. An exception is allowed for operating generators with an approved spark arrestor in an area barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the generator.
Visitors should use caution and keep from driving over areas of vegetation to place their trailers or to unload their tents and camping supplies. This is to keep catalytic converters and other sources of heat underneath the vehicle from igniting vegetation. Additionally, fireworks of any kind are NEVER allowed on national forests.
Fire restrictions will remain in place until the forest receives significant precipitation or until Aug. 31. Violation of the restrictions on national forests is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment up to six months, or both.