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Heightened fire restrictions blanket Quad Cities, forest
Prohibitions begin Wednesday, June 3

The Prescott National Forest will start tighter restrictions beginning June 3. (Courier file)

The Prescott National Forest will start tighter restrictions beginning June 3. (Courier file)

Stage II fire restrictions will begin Wednesday morning, June 3, for the Quad Cities and the Prescott National Forest.

Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority (CAFMA) and the Prescott Fire Department (PFD) announced the next step in fire restrictions this past week, with Prescott National Forest joining them on Friday.

This is being done “to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires during periods of high fire danger and severe fire weather conditions,” said Dale Deiter, forest supervisor for the Prescott National Forest.

These additional fire restrictions — moving to Stage II — will remain in effect until fire and forest officials determine that conditions have changed sufficiently to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfire, according to news releases.

CAFMA and PFD used a joint effort to implement these annual restrictions for the residents of their jurisdictions. However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, this year yielded an unusual situation as the two entities decided to bypass the formal implementation of Stage I fire restrictions and going straight into Stage II, which automatically enacts Stage I restrictions.

The decision to put these restrictions into effect is based on fuel modeling, fuel moistures, high temperatures, wind speeds and forest/plant conditions, PFD Division Chief Scott Luedeman said.

The orders affect the people who live within the 42 square miles of Prescott and 365-square-mile CAFMA jurisdictions, as well as all of the 1.25-million-acre Prescott National Forest.

This includes — but is not limited to — all of Prescott, Prescott Valley, Dewey-Humboldt, Chino Valley, Paulden, Williamson Valley, upper Copper Basin Road, the Mountain Club area, Ponderosa Park off of White Spar Road, the Senator Highway area, Groom Creek, Alto Pit, Lynx Lake, Potato Patch, Government Canyon and Diamond Valley.

“We’re going to Stage II because lately the weather has been hotter, dryer, the winds are coming up and it’s just the right time to do this,” CAFMA Fire Marshal Rick Chase said.

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