Fire ban in Yavapai County underway
Order prohibits outdoor fires in county to protect public, infrastructure and the environment
Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Chairman Craig Brown this week signed an interim order banning outdoor fires in the county to protect the public, infrastructure, and environment during this period of extreme wildfire danger, a news release stated.
The ban began at 8 a.m. Friday, June 25.
“This order was requested because a fire emergency determination has been declared by the Yavapai County Emergency Management Officer, in accordance with Yavapai County Ordinance 2020-2, Section VI,” the release added.
County officials say they implemented the restrictions because of high winds and low relative humidity as well as the extraordinarily dry conditions of the forests’ trees and shrubs, which cause a high risk for major fires.
In addition, officials say, fewer firefighters and equipment are available because of the extraordinary number of wildfires burning across the Southwest.
Under Yavapai County Ordinance 2020-2, the outdoor fire ban encompasses all outdoor burning, including open fires, campfires and fireworks. However, County officials make exceptions for people who have fire permits or variances as well as any federal, state or local officer or member of an organized rescue/firefighting team.
The ordinance also bans people from setting off any kind of fireworks or other pyrotechnic devices, and it bans people from using explosives.
People also cannot use chainsaws or other equipment with an internal combustion engine from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and they cannot weld or use an acetylene torch or other torch with an open flame.
In addition, people cannot park or drive a motor vehicle off of forest roads except when parking in an area without vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway. Parking overnight in a developed campground and/or trailhead is allowed, though.
County officials say that you may use petroleum-fueled stoves or lanterns and enclosed charcoal barbecue grills in your yard at home, but that you must be careful.
County officials are reminding residents that previously implemented Stage 1 fire restrictions include the following:
• Banning building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire except in a developed recreation site or improved site.
• Prohibiting smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an outdoor area that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials at least 3 feet in all directions.
• Forbidding using any equipment with an internal or external combustion engine that doesn’t have a properly installed and working spark-arresting device meeting either USDA Forest Service Standard 5100-1a (as amended) or appropriate Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) recommended practice under J335(b) and J350(a) [36 CFR 261.52 (j)].