No Fire Restrictions On Forests This Holiday Weekend
For the first time since 2010, campfires will be allowed on Memorial Day weekend on the region’s national forests. As Arizona Public Radio’s Aaron Granillo reports, steady rainfall during the past few month means there are no fire restrictions in effect.
Across northern and central Arizona, the forests are lush with fresh vegetation. Wesley Hall is a prescribed fire and fuel specialist with the Coconino National Forest. He says above average precipitation this year means it’s safe enough to be fire-restriction-free this holiday weekend.
“Campfires, smoking, charcoal grills, those normal things that are usually prohibited when we go into stage one restrictions -- they'll be okay to do in the forest,” says Hall.
Meteorologists say El Niño conditions have delivered healthy moisture to the region over the winter and spring months. In Flagstaff, precipitation levels are nearly 140-percent-above normal this year. But Hall says even though fire danger is not high at this time, campers still need to be careful this weekend.
“If you have a campfire, you definitely need to take the time to make sure it’s completely out before you leave it. Those are kind of number our one cause of human-caused starts is abandoned campfires.”
Despite the current moisture, forest managers say now is the perfect time for people to prepare for fire season by clearing brush around their properties.
For the latest information on fire restrictions in Arizona, head to http://firerestrictions.us/AZ/