Due to lack of monsoon precipitation, the Coconino and Kaibab national forests will enter Stage 1 campfire and smoking restrictions Friday, Aug. 14 at 8 a.m.
The goal of the fire restrictions is to protect public health by reducing the number of preventable human-caused wildfires.
The Tonto National Forest has been under Stage 1 restrictions since July 31.
Under the restrictions, fires, campfires, charcoal, coal and wood stoves are prohibited, except within a developed recreation site.
Smoking is also prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle, building or a developed recreation site. Using a device that is solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off is allowed in areas that are barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the device. Fireworks are always prohibited on all national forest lands.
Fire officials acknowledge it is rare for restrictions to be applied twice in the same year, however, these decisions are based on a combination of factors that are carefully measured. Criteria used to determine when to implement restrictions include things such as current and predicted weather, fuel moisture, a variety of science-based indices, fire activity levels and available firefighting resources.
Fire restrictions are implemented to help prevent unwanted, human-caused fires and to limit the exposure of visitors during periods of potentially dangerous fire conditions.
With no significant moisture predicted in the long-term forecast, they may apply additional restrictions, which could include Stage 2 fire restrictions and additional closure areas as needed.
Fire restrictions typically remain in effect until the area covered by the restrictions receives significant precipitation.
An explanation of the different stages of fire restrictions can be found online at www.tinyurl.com/firestagesexplained.
The Kaibab National Forest will also temporarily close the Bill Williams Mountain watershed just southwest of Williams due to the area’s susceptibility to uncharacteristically severe wildfire and post-wildfire flooding that could result.
Forest officials would also like to remind visitors that having a campfire in the national forest while under fire restrictions is a violation that can carry a mandatory appearance in federal court.