Careless campers and the heat wave across much of the state has led to tougher restrictions in a northern Arizona forest.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Because of warmer weather conditions, fire danger, an increase of abandoned campfires and for public safety, Coconino National Forest officials is implementing additional fire restrictions beginning tomorrow, June 22 at 8 a.m. That move prohibited campfires across the wilderness area and limited them to hosted developed campsites only.
Forest Service officials located 34 abandoned campfires in the forest last weekend, which along with the hot weather and dry lightning prompted additional restrictions.
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As of Wednesday morning, 10 people were still being treated in four hospitals, six of them in critical care. She added that 164 properties have been found to re-house residents and are now undergoing inspection.
In addition to campfires, Type II restrictions prohibit stoves, smoking outside your auto, fireworks, chainsaws, guns and just about anything that could spark a fire. Fireworks are never permitted.
The exception was generators with an approved spark arresting device within an enclosed vehicle or building or in an area that was barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the generator. It has not been widespread.
Even cars must remain on an open forest road. "Until we receive significant precipitation, the restrictions stay in place", he said. Violation of the restrictions on national forests is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment up to six months or both.
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