The Prescott National Forest is entering into Stage I Fire Restrictions on June 1st at 08:00 a.m. The following prohibitions will be in effect for all Prescott National Forest lands:
- Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove, except in developed recreation sites with metal fire rings or cooking grills. Forest visitors are urged to reference the Prescott National Forest website for a list of developed recreation sites allowing campfires under Stage I Fire Restrictions (https://www.fs.usda.gov/prescott). These sites are also listed below.
- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or in a developed recreation site in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
- Discharging a firearm, except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal laws and regulations.
In recent days, the Forest and adjacent lands have experienced dry and windy conditions along with an increase in fire activity including numerous abandoned campfires over the Memorial Day Holiday.
Pete Gordon, Fuels, Fire, & Aviation Staff Officer for the Prescott National Forest says, “The dry condition of vegetation across much of the Central Highlands of Yavapai County, including the Prescott National Forest is climbing steadily above average, trending toward very high or extreme conditions. The winter and spring precipitation brought much needed relief from the drought, but with it an abundance of grasses. These grasses are now tall and curing, making them quickly available for fast moving wildfires. We see these restrictions as an opportunity to limit the wildfire occurrence at a time when we are likely to see fires become more difficult to control and at a time we’re likely to see competition for resources across the region.”
Gordon continued to say, “The decision to implement Stage I restrictions is made with our partners. The Prescott National Forest has worked closely with the Bureau of Land Management; Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management; Yavapai County Emergency Services; and all the municipal and volunteer fire departments in the Verde Valley, Prescott area, and others adjacent to the Forest. We’re proud of the relationships we have with the partners of the Forest. Just as we collaborate in training together; responding to wildfires together; and treating the hazardous fuels together; we also communicate frequently this time of year specifically to understand the conditions and coordinate the need for fire restrictions. ”
Neighboring community members as well as Forest visitors are encouraged to act responsibly and remain vigilant. Fires can be started by many activities taken for granted and are not just limited to careless campfires or a carelessly placed cigarette: pay attention to anything that creates heat or sparks such as dragging tow chains, welding a corral fence, or even mowing the grass where a hiding rock can cause a spark. Wildfires are often started on private land and move into public lands such as the Prescott National Forest. Fire managers and our Law Enforcement Officers remind all Forest visitors that the use of exploding targets; incendiary devices; and fireworks are always illegal on National Forests Lands.
Prescott National Forest Develop Recreation Sites:
Campfires are allowed in metal fire rings and metal pedestal grills provided by the Forest Service in the following developed recreation sites only:
Prescott National Forest – BRADSHAW RANGER DISTRICT