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3 national forests in Arizona finalize campfire restrictions

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PHOENIX — Campfire and smoking restrictions will be implemented at three nationals forests in Arizona later this week.

The restrictions will go into place 8 a.m. Thursday on the Coconino and Kaibab national forests and at 8 a.m. Friday on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.

Jackie Banks with the Kaibab National Forest said the above-average winter rain and snowfall allowed them to hold off on restrictions.

“Typically, we’re in restrictions by Memorial Day Weekend. Now with the high winds, really dry conditions and warm temperatures we’ve decided to implement Stage 1 restrictions. With the high number of fires right now in Arizona, our firefighters are already really busy.

“We don’t need any more fires to get started and the goal of the restrictions is to cut down human caused fires. We have a big push on our firefighting resources and they don’t need to be dealing with more fires.”

Banks said the bans won’t be lifted until the monsoon delivers significant rainfall and that may not happen until July.

Under Stage 1 fire bans, fires, campfires, charcoal, coal, and wood stoves are allowed in designated developed campgrounds only. Devices solely fueled by liquid petroleum that can be turned on and off are allowed within an area that is cleared of flammable materials within three feet of the device.

The ban also limits smoking to within enclosed vehicles, buildings, developed campgrounds or while in an area that is cleared of all flammable material at least three feet in diameter.

Fireworks and incendiary devices are always prohibited on all national forest lands.

The Coronado, Prescott and Tonto National Forests have been under the prohibitions for several weeks.

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