Labor Day weekend means another opportunity to camp in the cool pines of northern Arizona national forests.
Campgrounds are expected to start filling up on Friday. Most campsites are on a first-come, first-served basis. The earlier you arrive, the better your chances of finding a campsite.
However, if planning to camp beyond developed campgrounds, remember the Leave No Trace principles: Pack out all trash when you leave and dispose of human waste by burying or packing out within a portable camp toilet.
There are currently no campfire restrictions in the Coconino National Forest, but Forest Service officials offer a few campfire safety reminders:
Use existing campfire rings to minimize soil impact.
Make a fire only if you have a shovel and water to put it out.
Never leave a campfire unattended.
When extinguishing a campfire, drown it with water and stir in dirt. Use your hand to make sure it is out cold.
Two Emergency Closure Areas are in effect on the Coconino National Forest.
These areas are closed to all public entry for safety reasons. They include the Schultz Fire area on the east side of San Francisco Peaks and Cinder Lake Flood Zone, east of Highway 89.
The Ranger Fire Complex between Highway 87 and Blue Ridge/C.C. Cragin Reservoir is reopen, however, a portion of the Arizona Trail remains re-routed.
Most Forest Service offices will be closed on Monday, Sept. 6 in observance of the holiday. The Red Rock Visitor Station south of Sedona on Highway 179 will be open all weekend. For more information, visit www.coconinoforest.us or call (928) 527-3600.