Stage 1 campfire and smoking restrictions will be implemented on most of the Red Rock Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest starting on Friday (June 2) at 8 a.m.
The restrictions apply only to specific areas of the Red Rock Ranger District, including the national forest land in the Verde Valley on the east side of the Verde River, Oak Creek Canyon, lower Sycamore Canyon, lower West Clear Creek, Fossil Creek and Bullpen. The area southeast of Interstate 17, east of Forest Road 618, and north of Forest Road 214 is not included.
Under Stage 1 restrictions, fires, campfires, charcoal, coal and wood stoves are only allowed in the specific developed recreation sites listed below. The restrictions also limit smoking to within enclosed vehicles or buildings or in the listed developed recreation sites. Using a device that is solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off is allowed in areas that are clear of flammable materials. Fireworks are always prohibited on all National Forests.
“Spring weather provided for a larger grass crop and fine fuels growth this year. With the current lack of moisture and rising temperatures, the potential for wildfire in these lower elevations has increased, which is why we’re going into restrictions,” said Red Rock District Ranger Nicole Branton. “There are still areas on the district where people can have a campfire, but those are at higher elevations or within certain developed recreation sites. The public should refer to the fire restriction area map or call the district if they need clarification.”
Developed recreation sites on the Red Rock Ranger District where campfires, woodstove and charcoal fires will be allowed include:
- Cave Springs Campground
- Chavez Group Site Campground
- Clear Creek Campground
- Manzanita Campground
- Pine Flat Campground
- Crescent Moon Day- Use Site and Cabin
- Grasshopper Point Day-Use Site
The Forest Service uses fire restrictions to help prevent unwanted, human-caused fires and to limit the exposure of users during periods of dangerous fire conditions. Implementation of fire restrictions normally occurs based on a combination of factors that are carefully measured.
Criteria used to determine when to implement restrictions include things such as current and predicted weather, fuel moisture, fire activity levels and available firefighting resources. Additional restrictions may be applied as conditions warrant. In-depth details and criteria for implementing fire restrictions can be found online at http://tinyurl.com/firerestrictionscriteria. Additionally, an explanation of the different stages of fire restrictions and what is typically prohibited during those stages can be found online at http://tinyurl.com/firestagesexplained.
Fire restrictions typically remain in effect until the forests receive significant precipitation, at which time they will be rescinded.
Forest officials would also like to remind forest users that building and maintaining a campfire on the National Forest while under fire restrictions is a violation that carries a mandatory appearance in federal court. Violations are punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000, imprisonment of not more than six months, or both.