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Heightened fire bans to take effect Thursday in northern, central Arizona

Smith, Brady -FS
The Tunnel Fire near Flagstaff burned almost 20,000 acres and destroyed 30 homes in April.

Heightened fire restrictions are set to go into effect across northern and central Arizona Thursday as warmer weather creates increased wildfire danger.

A stage two ban which prohibits nearly all uses of fire on public lands, will begin Thursday at 8 a.m. on the Coconino, Kaibab, Prescott and Apache-Sitgreaves national forests.

It bans campfires in all areas, including developed recreation sites, along with torches and other tools with open flames. In addition, the use of chainsaws, generators and internal combustion equipment will be prohibited during much of daytime hours.

The City of Flagstaff will also begin stage two restrictions Thursday morning. It bans fire pits and open flame devices that don’t have an on-off switch along with charcoal and wood-fired grills including at private residences and campgrounds. Propane and gas grills are still allowed throughout the city.

The Coronado National Forest in southern Arizona has also announced it’ll transition to stage two restrictions Thursday along with state trust and the Bureau of Land Management's Gila District lands in Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, Pima, Pinal and Santa Cruz counties.

In addition, state fire officials say the restrictions will also take effect Thursday on state trust lands south of the Grand Canyon in Coconino County along with Apache, Mohave, Navajo, Yavapai counties and elsewhere in Arizona.