More resources to monitor forests, issue citations
Forest Service urges compliance with fire restrictions
Prescott National Forest has received additional resources to increase fire prevention patrols across the entire forest. Due to increasing drought conditions, very high fire danger and public safety concerns, forest service officials implemented an area closure on a portion of the Bradshaw Ranger District on Friday, June 1.
The closure is being enforced with increased presence by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, Arizona Game and Fish and U.S. Forest Service law enforcement.
The extra resources will focus on the open areas of the forest which remain under Stage II Fire Restrictions, said Debbie Maneely, PNF public affairs officer, in a Tuesday, June 5 press release.
“To date, restrictions and patrols have been effective with 19 accidental/negligent human caused ignitions successfully suppressed for a total of 2.45 acres across the forest,” Maneely stated.
Over this past weekend, Saturday, June 2 and Sunday, June 3, officers issued five closure violations, five smoking violations, and one shooting violation.
All developed campgrounds, day-use recreation sites and designated dispersed camping sites on the Bradshaw Ranger District are currently open to the public. The only developed recreation sites closed on the Bradshaw Ranger District are in the Horsethief Basin Recreation Area south of Crown King.
Visit the PNF website for a list of What’s Open/What’s Closed at www.fs.usda.gov/prescott/.
The closure tackles areas relatively inaccessible to firefighters with large expanses of dry chaparral vegetation and few completed hazardous fuel treatments.
Maneely said current closures and fire restrictions will remain in place until sufficient precipitation is received to adequately reduce the risk of wildfire. Forest leadership will continue to evaluate the need for additional closures.
Violating any fire restrictions carries a mandatory appearance in federal court, punishable as a Class B misdemeanor with a fine of up to $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, and/or up to six months in prison.
Follow Sue Tone on Twitter @ToneNotes. Reach her at email@example.com or 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.