Originally Published: June 14, 2016 6:04 a.m.
PRESCOTT – Campfire, smoking, and shooting restrictions will go into effect on the Prescott National Forest on Wednesday, June 15, at 8 a.m.
Forest managers have determined that key criteria have been reached to warrant taking these restrictive actions, according to a news release. These triggers 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.
These restrictions will remain in effect until Aug. 15 or when forest officials determine that conditions have changed sufficiently to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfire.
The Forest Service works closely with its “partners to support our shared interest fire prevention and reducing the risk of human-caused wildfires across the landscape.” The decision and timing to implement these restrictions was made after frequent communication with neighboring National Forests; Bureau of Land Management and other Federal Land Agencies; Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management; Yavapai County Emergency Services; and local fire departments.
“We appreciate the vigilance of our neighbors and forest visitors during this time of heightened fire danger in taking precautions to prevent wildfires and in respecting these restrictions. It’s so important right now to think about the consequences of doing things we take for granted. Whether you live in a wooded area of one of our neighboring communities or if you’re visiting the Prescott National Forest on a camping trip, now is the time to pay attention to conditions, your surroundings, and the consequences of your actions,” said Pete Gordon, fire staff officer.
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.
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:
• Arizona Fire Restrictions: http://firerestrictions.us/az/
• Public Lands: 1-877-864-6985
• Prescott National Forest Fire Information Hotline: 928-777-5799
• Prescott National Forest website: www.fs.usda.gov/prescott
• Local Ranger Stations: Bradshaw Ranger District, 928-443-8000; Chino Valley Ranger District 928-777-2200; and Verde Ranger District 928-567-4121.