WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Kaibab and Coconino National Forest officials are allowing campfires in developed campgrounds again. Changes in weather conditions allowed Kaibab and Coconino national forest officials to decrease fire restrictions from Stage II to Stage I today.
Recent rains, along with higher humidity and increased fuel moistures, have lowered fire danger on the forests and decreased the risk of major wildfires. However, fire management officials for both forests warn visitors that fire season is still not over.
"The rain we've seen so far has been somewhat localized. You may see rain at your house, but the campground just a few miles away may have had little to none," said Don Muise, fire staff officer for the Coconino National Forest. "There are many areas in the forests that are still very dry."
The Forest Service started Stage I fire restrictions on May 22 and switched to Stage II fire restrictions on June 19.
Under the Stage I restrictions now in effect, fires, campfires, charcoal, coal and wood stoves are allowed in developed campgrounds only. The restrictions also limit smoking to within enclosed vehicles or buildings or in developed campgrounds. Using a device that uses only liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off is allowed in areas that are clear of flammable materials.
While the Bill Williams Mountain Watershed will reopen, the Fossil Creek area on the Coconino National Forest will remain closed because of high fire danger and will not reopen until the area receives significant moisture. More information and a detailed map of the closure area can be found at www.tinyurl.com/o76cqmf.
Stage I fire restrictions and the Fossil Creek area closure will remain in effect until the area receives significant precipitation and fire danger decreases.