Coconino Forest Places Campfire Restrictions In Place

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Campfire and smoking restrictions across the entire Coconino National Forest will be implemented starting Tuesday, July 1 at 8 a.m.

The Tonto National Forest already has similar restrictions in place.

Fires, campfires, woodstove and charcoal fires will be allowed only in developed campgrounds and picnic areas. Use of petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, and heating devices meeting safety specifications will be allowed. Smoking will be permitted within an enclosed vehicle or building or in a developed recreation area.

Fireworks are always prohibited on national forest lands.

Forest officials consider several factors in determining the need for fire restrictions, according to Coconino National Forest Fire Staff Officer Bruce Greco.

"With the long July 4 weekend coming up, there will be increase of dispersed campers. The weather forecast indicates sustained monsoon moisture is not yet imminent, and there's increasing wildfire activity regionally and nationally."

On Thursday afternoon, June 26, Forest Service officials said there has been quite a bit of lightning activity, which resulted in five reported fires. Most of the activity was within 10 to 15 miles of Flagstaff, with four incidents between the Cinder Hills area, and the Strawberry Crater Wilderness Area and near the Wupatki National Monument.

One additional fire was reported 10 miles southwest of Flagstaff near Turkey Butte. All the fires were small and not near developed areas.

Crews were responding to the fires, said Karen Malis-Clark, public affairs official at Coconino National Forest.

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