Verde Valley News – Free firewood is available to permitted individuals on two new areas of the Coconino National Forest’s Flagstaff Ranger District.
The A-1 area is located off Interstate 40 west. It can be accessed by taking the A-1 mountain exit. Follow the road for half a mile, turn left onto Forest Road 518, and take a slight right onto FR 519. FR 9012J, FR 519 and FR 9022K can all be used to access the collection area. There is plenty of parking in the A-1 area off the road surface.
To access the 9007S area, head northwest on Highway 180. Turn right onto FR 151, located roughly 18 miles northwest of Flagstaff. Follow FR 151 for 1.5 miles, turn left onto FR 9218 and follow it for half a mile. Make a right onto FR 9007S, and logs will be located along both sides of the road. Only a handful of trucks and trailers can fit in the 9007S area at one time; so permit holders are asked to be patient with other vehicle drivers at the collection site.
There are about 20 truck loads of wood located at the 9007S area and there are roughly 15 large slash piles located at the A-1 collection area. While the wood in the 9007S area will likely not last long, it’s expected that wood will remain available in the A-1 collection area through November.
Only dead and down Ponderosa pine may be collected from the free use areas, which include slash piles from a recent timber sale contract.
Collection areas are clearly marked. Free use permits are needed to collect wood, and can be obtained by calling or visiting the Coconino National Forest’s Flagstaff Ranger District or Supervisor’s Office during business hours.
Free use permits are separate from personal use paid permits. Free use permits are valid only for collection within the designated area. Free use permits allow the cutting of up to five cords of dead and down wood in specified areas, and a maximum of five cords per household per year is allowed under free use.
Permit-holders are asked to keep safety in mind and be considerate of other forest visitors. Please leave unused wood stacked in slash piles. Drivers should remain wary of tight turns on roads and in collection areas and watch for uneven surfaces both on forest roads and in collection areas.