Hot dry weather has once again resulted in dangerous fire conditions across much of Arizona. There is an increased threat of small fires becoming major wildfires, especially this weekend, with breezy conditions predicted.
"We have had some very timely weather breaks during this year's fire season that helped lessen the fire danger at critical times. However, now we are seeing a return to severe fire weather without any foreseeable breaks and I urge everyone who works and visits Arizona's public lands continue to be cautious when outdoors, stated Pam McAlpin, AZ-BLM Fire Management Officer. Bone-dry fuel moisture levels, and years of drought have created public and firefighter safety issues and the implementation of fire restrictions has increased this past week, including one closure; the Bill Williams Mountain Watershed Area in the Kaibab National Forest.
Other closures may follow soon. When closures are in effect, it means just that, absolutely no public entry unless some type of special circumstance exists and a permit is issued, a rarity. If a wildfire is set during illegal entry into closed areas, or elsewhere on public lands, full recovery for suppression costs may be pursued and fines and jail sentences could become a reality. If you are unsure of where you are going or what road to take, don't go there until you are sure and you can confirm your destination's fire restrictions and/or closures. On average, 60 per cent of Arizona's 3,500 annual wildfires are human-caused, don't make it 3,501.
For a complete list of fire restrictions and closures visit www.azfireinfo.com or call (877) 864-6985.