Campfire restrictions begin for parts of Coconino National Forest

Apr 20, 2018, 10:16 AM
(Pixabay Photo)...
(Pixabay Photo)
(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — The Forest Service has implemented a number of campfire restrictions Friday for parts of the Coconino National Forest in Arizona to prevent human-caused fires during the dry season.

The restrictions affected the majority of the Red Rock Ranger District south of Sedona.

The order prohibited using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal or wood stove. However, petroleum-fueled items such as stoves and lanterns were still permitted. 

It also prohibited smoking unless it was in a car or other enclosed area.

Additional restrictions may be applied if conditions warrant the changes. Violations of the order were punishable by a fine of no more than $5,000, imprisonment of no longer than six months or both.

The order will remain in effect until Aug. 15 unless rescinded earlier.

So far, the Rattlesnake Fire in eastern Arizona burned through almost 13,000 acres and was 20 percent contained.

The fire was believed to be human-caused and was under investigation. It was 25 miles south of Alpine.

Gov. Doug Ducey also released a statement warning the public about the dangerous wildfire season and sharing some tips to help prevent unwanted fires. Tips included making sure campfires are put out and being sure to avoid chains that dangle off the beds of trucks.

Last year, more than 10 million acres burned in the U.S., including 400,000 acres in Arizona. Experts at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Arizona said that number will increase in the future.

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Campfire restrictions begin for parts of Coconino National Forest