Kaibab, Coconino forests to restart fire restrictions due to lack of rain
PHOENIX — The Kaibab and Coconino national forests are set to restart fire restrictions later this week due to a lack of rain during the monsoon season.
The northern Arizona forests will return to Stage 1 fire restrictions beginning Friday at 8 a.m., forest officials said.
Fire restrictions at both forests were lifted July 28.
“Fire officials acknowledge it is rare for restrictions to be applied twice in the same year, however these decisions are based on a combination of factors that are carefully measured,” forest officials said in a press release.
“Criteria used to determine when to implement restrictions include things such as current and predicted weather, fuel moisture, a variety of science-based indices, fire activity levels and available firefighting resources.”
The Bill Williams Mountain watershed southwest of Williams, located in the Kaibab National Forest, will also temporarily close due to the area’s susceptibility to uncharacteristically severe wildfire and post-wildfire flooding.
Stage 1 fire restrictions are put in place to prevent wildfires caused by campfires and smoking.
Under the restrictions, fires, campfires, charcoal, coal and wood stoves are prohibited, except within a developed recreation site.
Smoking is also prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle, building or a developed recreation site.
Arizona is in the midst of a busy wildfire season.
Almost 700,00 acres have burned in Arizona this season, leading the country and more than doubling California, the state with the second-most acres burned.