Central Yavapai Fire Marshal Rick Chase reminds local residents that Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in place until further notice. Here are the details:
Stage I Fire Restrictions
NO burn permits will be issued
Use of model rockets is PROHIBITED
Use of fireworks and other pyrotechnic displays are PROHIBITED except by commercial special events permit
NO smoking outside of vehicles, outside of residential yards, or outside of designated smoking areas
NO outdoor use of firearms
Cooking, warming, or camp fires (ash or ember producing) ARE still ALLOWED at single and multi-family residential properties and Town parks (where approved) but MUST BE attended at all times
Where are the Stage I fire restrictions in effect?
Debbie Maneely, spokesperson for the Prescott National Forest explains that Northern Arizona areas include:
- The Bureau of Land Management Phoenix District
- The Prescott National Forest
- The Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management will implement campfire and smoking restrictions in central and western Arizona.
- Yavapai County will implement a fire ban across all unincorporated Yavapai County lands
- The Tonto National Forest and the Tonto National Monument will continue to enforce their fire restrictions already in effect.
- Campfires are never permitted on Imperial, Cibola, Bill Williams River, and Havasu National Wildlife Refuges (NWR)
- Campfires are permitted on Kofa NWR
It's the law
These restrictions aren’t just suggestions. Violating the restrictions on federal property can result in Class B misdemeanor charges, with fines, imprisonment or both. Persons found guilty may also be held personally responsible for the costs of fire suppression.
Want to bbq?
If you want to light up the barbeque, that’s ok with pressurized liquid or gas stoves, lanterns and heaters with shut-off valves. Don’t forget to ensure that the area is clear of grasses and other potential fuels. Be careful that the stoves don’t tip and start a fire.
Campsites and picnic areas where grills are allowed, but should not ever be left unattended. Completely extinguish the fire upon departure by using the drown, stir and repeat method. Make sure the fire is cold to the touch.
Are you a smoker? Never throw the butts out a window, use ashtrays to prevent wildfires. Leave No Trace principles should always be practiced.
Do not run power equipment on windy days, and maintain spark arrestors. Be careful of dragging chains from vehicles while driving, sparks can fly and ignite fires. Vehicles parked over dead grass can cause the vegetation to catch on fire from the catalytic converter.
Stage II Fire Restrictions
Prescott Fire Marshal Don Devendorf explains that Stage II Fire Restrictions may be required within a couple of weeks if the dry weather continues.
Chase described the stronger, Stage II restrictions:
- NO burn permits will be issued
- Use of model rockets is PROHIBITED
- Use of fireworks and other pyrotechnic displays are PROHIBITED except by commercial special events permit
- NO smoking outside of vehicles, outside of residential yards, or outside of designated smoking areas
- NO outdoor use of firearms
- Welding, cutting, grinding and chain saw use is PROHIBITED (Permission may be granted under special circumstances and repair situations as approved by the Fire Marshal)**
- Warming fires and camp fires (ember and ash producing) are PROHIBITED in single and multi-family residences and Town parks. This also prohibits the use of other devices that produce open flame such as tiki lamps.
- The use of propane, natural gas or other gas flame-producing barbeque cooking grills MAY BE USED at single and multi-family residential properties as long as they are constantly attended, are in an enclosed device, and can be turned off.
** Certain activities including welding, cutting, grinding and chainsaw use (any spark/flame producing activity) outdoors shall require the following:
- A Fire Department permit for a specific time period, location, and activity granting permission to conduct such activity in a safe manner.
- A fire watch, an individual for the sole purpose of watching for any sparks and/or ignition.
- Firefighting tool(s) such as a shovel.
- Approved water supply available from a hose, water truck, etc.
Remember, fire conditions, localized closures and restrictions are subject to change. Maneely suggests that for more information, check out http://wildlandfire.az.gov or call the toll free Southwest Fire Restrictions Hotline @ 1-877-864-6985. The direct fire restrictions information website for Arizona is http://firerestrictions.us/az.