Fire, forest agencies issue Stage 1 restrictions
NORTHERN ARIZONA — With late-spring weather drying out, winds kicking up and some parts of Northern Arizona already burned, several fire and forest agencies issued phase 1 fire restrictions this week.
Monday, Prescott National Forest announced it will enter Stage I fire restrictions Friday, May 14, 8 a.m., for the entire forest. The goal of the fire restrictions is to protect public health by reducing the number of preventable human-caused wildfires, officials said.
Restrictions will remain in effect until forest officials determine that conditions have changed sufficiently to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfire, PNF officials said in a news release.
Stage 1 restrictions mean:
• Igniting, building, maintaining, or using a fire, including charcoal and briquettes outside a fire structure that is provided by the Forest Service within a designated area.
• 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
• Discharging a firearm, except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal, or tribal laws and regulations.
• Using a stove or grill that is solely fueled by liquid petroleum or liquid gas is permitted.
• Using a stove fire in a designated area.
There is also a list of exempted recreation sites on the PNF website, fs.usda.gov/main/prescott.
The Sedona Fire District will also enter Stage I restrictions at 8 a.m. Friday.
“After consulting and coordinating with our partners at the Forest Service, Yavapai and Coconino County emergency management and other area fire departments, we feel that the current and expected weather conditions warrant this move,” Sedona Fire Marshal Jon Davis said in a news release. Stage I fire restrictions in the district mean there is no igniting, building, maintaining or using a fire including charcoal or briquettes except at one- and two-family dwellings or fixed-site restaurants. Petroleum-fueled stoves and appliances are also allowed.
Sedona’s Stage I restrictions also prohibit smoking in public outside of an enclosed vehicle or building.
“These restrictions should not come as a surprise to anyone that has lived in northern Arizona for any length of time,” Davis said. “These conditions are very typical for this time of year.”
Residents and visitors are reminded that restrictions may be increased as conditions warrant and it is not likely to see the restrictions removed until summer monsoon weather patterns are well-established, the release states.
Call the Sedona Fire District Community Risk Reduction Division at 928-204-8926 with questions.
Coconino National Forest has closed specific areas, but as of Tuesday, had not issued a Stage 1 restriction. Follow the “forest orders” tab on fs.usda.gov/main/coconino to see if and when this order changes.