Rain Reopens Arizona Forests

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The monsoon season, which arrived earlier than normal throughout much of Arizona last week, quenched extreme fire conditions in northern Arizona forests and washed away some restrictions.

Closed areas of the Coconino and Kaibab national forests were reopened Tuesday and closed sections of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests were reopened Thursday.

The following measures went into effect Tuesday on the Coconino and Kaibab forests:

Coconino National Forest

All area closures have been lifted

Campfire and smoking restrictions remain in effect forest-wide

Campfires are allowed in developed campgrounds only

Chain saw restrictions are lifted.

Kaibab National Forest

Kaibab National Forest area closures have been partially lifted

Tusayan and North Kaibab Ranger Districts area closures remain in effect

The Williams Ranger District is open except for hazardous areas associated with the Pumpkin Fire. Forest Road 190 around Newman Hill and Forest Road 149 accessing the Pumpkin Trailhead are closed. The Bull Basin, Pumpkin, and Kendrick Trail on Kendrick Mountain are also closed

Developed campgrounds remain open.

Campfire and smoking restrictions remain in effect forest-wide

In open areas, campfires are allowed in developed campground only

No campfires, charcoal fires or open fires of any kind are allowed on Tusayan and North Kaibab Ranger Districts

Chain saw restrictions remain in place on the Tusayan and North Kaibab Ranger Districts

In open areas, chain saw restrictions are lifted

Grand Canyon National Park area closures and restrictions remain in effect

Grand Canyon National Park remains open

All facilities and most programs remain operational

Fire restrictions and partial closures remain in effect

Call Grand Canyon National Park for more specific information at (520) 638-7922

Fireworks are prohibited on federal lands at all times

Apache-Sitgreaves

The following measures went into effect Thursday on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests:

All areas closed due to extreme danger were re-opened

Smoking and campfire restrictions remain in effect

Campfires are allowed only in developed campgrounds

The use of chain saws is restricted to use before 9 a.m. and after 8 p.m.

Campgrounds

The following campgrounds reopened Thursday: KP Cienega, Hannagan, Gentry, Gabaldon, West Fork of the Black River, Chevelon Canyon, and Black Canyon Rim.

Lakes and wilderness areas

Bear Canyon, Chevelon Canyon, Black Canyon and Knoll Lake are now open, as are the Escudilla Mountain Wilderness, Bear Wallow Wilderness and the Blue Range Primitive Area.

The summer rains are just now starting to develop across the forests with the forecast of widespread soaking rain. To date the rain has been spotty with some observation stations reporting less than a quarter inch of rain thus far. The forests have recorded more than 80 lightning-caused fires and 12 human-caused fires since closures and restrictions were first implemented May 24.

Forest officials caution travelers to be especially careful while enjoying the state's National Forests.

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