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National Forest Officials Urge Public To Follow Arizona Campfire Ban

Graham County

Officials with the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests are urging the public to adhere to the campfire ban put into effect two weeks ago.

They say firefighters have responded to eight abandoned campfires and 18 illegal fires since April 22nd on the Apache-Sitgreaves.

“We are seeing a large increase in forest users for this time of year, twice the number normally seen during holiday weekends like Memorial Day,” said the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests’ Forest Fire Management Officer, Gary Strickland in a press release. “The campfire ban will help reduce preventable human-caused wildfires, such as abandoned campfires, which increase firefighter exposure to COVID-19 and decrease our ability to respond if just one member of a crew was exposed.”

Building, maintaining or using any fire is prohibited on all six national forests in Arizona to prevent human-caused wildfire, and protect the public and firefighters during the coronavirus outbreak. Officials say that an increased number of wildfires put forest personnel at risk because it’s difficult to physically distance while fighting wildfires. They also want to reduce poor air quality caused by wildfires in local communities.

Human-caused wildfires make up 80 percent of all wildfires on U.S. public lands.

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