Prescott National Forest managers want to remind the public that Stage I Fire Restrictions are now in effect on the forest and will remain in place until August 15 or when forest officials determine that conditions have changed sufficiently to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfire.
The following fire restrictions will be in effect for all national forest lands within the entire Prescott National Forest boundary:
- Campfires, charcoal grills, and stove fires (wood, charcoal, and coal burning) are prohibited on all Prescott National Forest lands, roads, and trails; except within developed recreation sites where grills and campfire rings are provided. (The use of petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns or heating devices is allowed providing such devices meet the fire under writer’s specifications for safety).
- Smoking is prohibited except within enclosed vehicles, buildings, or developed recreation sites where the area is cleared of all flammable material.
- Discharging a firearm is prohibited, except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal laws and regulations
- Campfires are not allowed at the designated dispersed sites within the Prescott Basin. Metal posts identify designated dispersed sites with a number.
- Fireworks are always prohibited on all national forest lands.
Forest managers have determined that key criteria have been reached to warrant taking these restrictive actions. These include rapid drying of live and dead forest vegetation, escalating fire weather conditions, the level of firefighting resource commitments in the area, and increased forest visitor use.
Forest managers and your first responders ask visitors and residents in neighboring communities to pay close attention to daily weather conditions and their surroundings where fires are allowed. Under windy conditions, a burning ember could easily be carried outside of a fire ring or grill and potentially start a wildfire in nearby dry vegetation. Additionally, a Red Flag Warning may be issued when weather conditions are especially ripe for a wildfire to start. Folks are strongly advised to refrain from having campfires (wood and charcoal) when this warning is in effect, even if the above restrictions and the location allows them. Lastly, never leave a campfire unattended and make sure it is “dead out” before leaving. Abandoned campfires are always illegal, whether fire restrictions are in place or not. “A little common sense prevents a lot of risk,” said Pete Gordon, Prescott National Forest Fire Chief.
Know Before You Go! To help you understand where and when fire restrictions and possible closures exist, there are several resources available. The public can obtain additional fire information via the following:
Local Ranger Stations: Bradshaw Ranger District, (928) 443-8000; Chino Valley Ranger District (928) 777-2200; Verde Ranger District (928) 567-4121
Know before you go. Check current fire information and restrictions at www.wildlandfire.AZ.gov or at www.firerestrictions.us or call 1-877-864-6985