Sedona AZ (April 22, 2020) – Effective at 5:00 p.m. on April 22, 2020, the United States Forest Service is enacting a campfire ban on all forest service managed lands to protect the health and safety of employees and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sedona Fire District will be aligning with the USFS and prohibiting campfires and other open burning in all areas served by Sedona Fire District. These necessary steps help better ensure first responders are available to respond and manage emergencies. This restriction will help prevent the commitment of limited fire and medical resources to unwanted human-caused fires and reduce firefighter exposure to COVID-19 during the current pandemic. The following types of fires are NOT affected by these burn restrictions:
- The use of commercially manufactured charcoal grills or wood smokers is allowed on private property so long as a tight fitting lid is in place during use and sparks and fire brands are contained within the device.
- Devices fueled solely by liquid petroleum, propane (LPG), or natural gas (LNG) are always allowed so long as the flame may be immediately extinguished without residual combustion.
- Petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, or heating devices providing such devices meet the fire underwriter’s specification for safety, are allowed.
“So much has changed this year with COVID-19,” said Sedona Fire Marshal Jon Davis. Fire agencies are taking extra steps to limit the possible ignition sources for wildfires this year. “We want to avoid any fire which might require large numbers of firefighters to battle,” Davis continued, “A fire camp with communal eating and shower facilities would present an ideal target for the spread of any virus, particularly one like the Novel Coronavirus.”
The Sedona Fire District is in constant communication with our partners and will continue to evaluate all factors related to this decision and lift restrictions when conditions are favorable.
“While some may view this action excessive, we recognize that the average age of the population we serve makes them more vulnerable and we believe it is our obligation to help ensure their safety,” said Assistant Chief Jayson Coil. Coil Continued, “When faced with a potentially catastrophic outcome we must take steps to ensure we are protecting those we serve”.