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Mon, Sept. 21

Bill Williams to close because of fire danger
Kaibab and Coconino Forests implement Stage II fire restrictions, Bill Williams Watershed closed to hiking, camping and driving as of June 6

The Kaibab National Forest will close the Bill Williams Watershed to recreational use June 6 because of fire danger. Dyan Bone/Kaibab National Forest

The Kaibab National Forest will close the Bill Williams Watershed to recreational use June 6 because of fire danger. Dyan Bone/Kaibab National Forest

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Because of increasing fire danger, the Kaibab and Coconino National Forests implemented Stage II fire restrictions last week and closed the Bill Williams Mountain Watershed to the public.

The closure includes hiking, horseback riding, driving, camping and all other recreational and industrial activities.

The Bill Williams Mountain Watershed closure area will be bounded to the east by Fourth Street and County Road 73, to the south by Forest Service Road (FSR) 122, to the west by FSR 108, and to the north by Interstate 40.

Forest managers often close the Bill Williams Mountain Watershed to public entry during fire season. Bill Williams Mountain is the primary watershed for the city of Williams, and a major wildfire and subsequent flooding would be devastating to the city and surrounding communities.

On the Kaibab National Forest, the Stage II fire restrictions will apply only to the Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts. Fire restrictions will not yet be implemented on the North Kaibab Ranger District because of different weather and fuels conditions.

These additional fire restrictions will remain in effect until forest officials determine that conditions have changed sufficiently to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfire.

Stage II fire restrictions prohibit the following:

1. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or stove fire, including fires in developed campgrounds and improved sites.

2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building.

3. Discharging a firearm, air rifle, or gas gun, except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal, or tribal laws and regulations.

4. Operating any internal combustion engine from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

5. Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with an open flame.

Exemptions to the restrictions include the following:

1. Using a device fueled solely by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off. Such devices can only be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the device.

2. Operating generators with an approved spark arresting device within an enclosed vehicle or building or in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the generator.

3. Operating motorized vehicles in compliance with forest Travel Management regulations.

More information is available at http://firerestrictions.us/az/, http://wildlandfire.az.gov/ or www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab.

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