Stage 2 fire restrictions take effect Friday
VERDE VALLEY - Due to extreme weather conditions, increased fire danger and for public safety, the Prescott and Coconino national forests, the Copper Canyon Fire & Medical District, Verde Valley Fire District and the Sedona Fire District will implement Stage 2 fire restrictions beginning Friday at 8 a.m.
The CCFD is increasing its fire restrictions from Stage 1 to Stage 2 because of the high fire threat due to the drought, high winds and dry and hot weather, according to CCFM fire marshal Ken Krebbs on Tuesday.
“The Forest has been under Stage 1 fire restrictions since May 14, which prohibits campfires across the forest and limits them to developed campsites only,” explained the Coconino National Forest press release.
“However, warmer and windy weather, as well as key criteria are being met, which merits implementation of increased fire restrictions, the forest service added.
During Stage II Fire Restrictions, no burning is allowed, igniting, building, maintaining or using a fire including charcoal briquettes is prohibited and the use of fireworks and other pyrotechnic displays are prohibited except by commercial special events permit, CCFM explained. Use of model rockets is also prohibited.
Operating a chainsaw or other equipment operated by an internal combustion engine between the hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. is also prohibited, according to the forest service.
People should check restrictions in the area they are recreating because they are not all the same, according to Debbie Maneely, Public Affairs spokesperson for the Prescott National Forest. “And we don’t all enter into stages at the same time.”
As an example, she said the PNF does not allow recreational target shooting, “whereas the Coconino (they just mailed out their Stage II News Release) does. “ The public needs to be aware of the restrictions on the public lands that they are on, Debbie Maneely said. “The goal of the fire restrictions is to protect public health by reducing the number of preventable human-caused wildfires,” added the CCFM statement.
The Coconino National Forest warned campers to use caution and keep from driving over areas of vegetation to unload their tents, trailers and camping supplies.
“This is to keep catalytic converters and other sources of heat underneath the vehicle from igniting vegetation,” the forest service said. “Finding a suitable location for pulling a trailer off the road will be challenging.”
“As a result, some campers may not find a spot to camp on the Coconino National Forest at this time and during the busy weekends.”
“Restrictions will remain in effect until Copper Canyon Fire and Medical District determines that conditions have changed sufficiently to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfire,” the CCFM reported.
Call Copper Canyon Fire at 928-567-9401 if you have any questions or concerns.
Sedona Fire District
Sedona’s restrictions include prohibition of all solid fueled open fires, fire pits and campfires.
During the period of fire restrictions, no burn permits will be issued and existing burn permits are hereby suspended. Fireworks and other pyrotechnic displays are prohibited, unless permitted by the fire marshal.
These restrictions also prohibit the outdoor use of equipment that generates sparks or open flames. This restricts the outdoor use of welding equipment, grinders and chain saws. Commercial operators may apply for a hot work permit through the Fire Marshal’s Office.
Cooking on propane grills and the use of UL listed, natural gas or propane flame producing heating/warming appliances is still allowed provided that the appliance is located at least 10 feet from combustible materials. Cooking devices that do not generate sparks or open flames are allowed only at private residences so long as they are covered with a tight fitting and lid clear of all surrounding flammable materials.
PROHIBITED IN SEDONA:
-Open fires or campfires utilizing wood or other solid fuels.
-Smoking in public (except within an enclosed vehicle or building).
-Using an explosive.
-Possessing, discharging, or using any type of firework or pyrotechnic device.
-Outdoor welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame without a hot work permit. Hot work permits shall be revoked during periods of Red Flag Warnings.
-Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order. (Does not include motor vehicles and is intended for things such as landscaping tools).
-Discharging firearms, air rifles, or gas guns (except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal or tribal laws or regulations).
-Possessing or using a motor vehicle off National Forest System roads (Vehicles must stay on open Forest Roads and cannot drive/park over any vegetation at any time).
- No power equipment use is allowed during Red Flag weather days.
ALLOWED IN SEDONA:
-The use of indoor fireplaces
-Liquid Propane Gas (LPG) or Natural Gas (LNG) grills, fireplaces and appliances.
-Cooking with charcoal or wood on private property in an appliance with a tight fitting lid. The lid must be in place while cooking.
-The use of power equipment on private property for the purpose of landscaping, fuel mitigation, etc. A spark arrester must be in place and a fire watch shall be posted for 30 minutes after cessation of work.
-Operators shall be equipped with a means to extinguish any fire. Good safety practices should also include limiting use of power equipment to before 9 a.m. or after 8 p.m. when temperatures are lower and relative humidity is higher.
-Commercial operators engaged in the removal and maintenance of vegetation to promote healthy plants; removal of accumulated detritus; fire prescribed cutting or utility easement right of way maintenance; and other activities which works to lessen fuel load and increase fire safety around structures and populated areas, may operate outside these hours when all other safety guidelines are followed.
Coconino National Forest
The forest has been under Stage 1 fire restrictions since May 14, which prohibits campfires across the forest and limits them to developed campsites only. However, warmer and windy weather, as well as key criteria are being met, which merits implementation of increased fire restrictions.
Stage 2 fire restrictions that be in effect beginning Friday that prohibit the following:
-Igniting fires, campfires, charcoal, coal, smudge pots and wood stoves (except using a stove or grill that is solely fueled by pressurized liquid petroleum or pressurized liquid petroleum gas (LPG) fuels.).
-Smoking (except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of any flammable material).
-During the hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., operating a chainsaw or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine for felling, bucking, skidding, processing, road building and woodcutting during industrial operations or firewood gathering capable of igniting a fire.
-During the hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., using an explosive, blasting, welding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with an open flame.
Fireworks of any kind are never allowed on national forests.
Visitors should use caution and avoid driving over areas of vegetation to place their trailers or to unload their tents and camping supplies. This is to keep catalytic converters and other sources of heat underneath the vehicle from igniting vegetation.
Finding a suitable location for pulling a trailer off the road will be challenging, particularly with the number of visitors expected during summer months. As a result, some campers may not find a spot to camp on the Coconino National Forest at this time and during the busy weekends.
Fire restrictions will remain in place until the forest receives significant precipitation. Violation of the restrictions on national forests is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment up to six months, or both.
For updated information, go to the website fs.usda.gov/coconino and follow Coconino National Forest on Facebook and Twitter.
Prescott National Forest
Stage II restrictions in Prescott National Forest prohibit:
- Igniting, building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire.
-Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of any flammable material.
-Welding, or operating any acetylene or other torch with an open flame.
-Operating a chainsaw or other equipment operated by an internal combustion engine between the hours of 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.
-Discharging a firearm, except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal or tribal laws and regulations.
-People with a written Forest Service authorization specifically exempting them from the effect of this order.
-People using a stove or grill that is solely fueled by liquid petroleum or liquid petroleum gas (LPG) fuels.
-People operating generators with an approved spark arresting device in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the generator.
-Any federal, state, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
For updated information, go to the website fs.usda.gov/prescott and follow Prescott National Forest on Facebook and Twitter.
Residents of unincorporated Yavapai County, but not in one of the national forests, are subject to all Stage I restrictions and the Stage II list as well. These include:
-Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire except within a developed recreation site, or improved site.
-Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an outdoor area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
-Operating or using any equipment with an internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order meeting either the U.S. Forest Service standard or appropriate Society of Automotive Engineers recommended practice.
-Discharging or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device when prohibited by the Permitted Fireworks section VIII.A.
-Using an explosive.
-Operating a chainsaw or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine between the hours of 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.
-Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame.
-Possession or use a motor vehicle off of Forest System roads except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway; and except for parking overnight in a developed campground and or trailheads.
Petroleum-fueled stoves or lanterns and enclosed charcoal barbeque grills operated in residential yards are exempt from this prohibition, but the public is urged to exercise extreme caution in the use of such stoves, lanterns, or grills.
The public is also urged to strictly obey any and all federal, state, or local fire restrictions currently in force as well as any such restrictions as may be enacted in the future.
Cottonwood, Verde Valley
Cottonwood Fire Chief Ron Sauntman said his department is moving to Stage II fire restrictions in coordination with Prescott and Coconino national forests.
Verde Valley Fire Chief Daniel Johnson said his department will mirror the restrictions of the national forests and neighboring agencies in order to avoid confusion.
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