A very important message from our friends at the U.S. Forest Service:
Springerville, AZ – May 15, 2013—Campfire and smoking restrictions will be implemented at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, May 23 in Apache and Navajo Counties, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, and within local fire districts located in both counties.
White Mountain area cities, counties, and federal agencies, along with commercial partners that make up Northeast Arizona Public Information System (593 JIC), and the White Mountains Fire Restrictions Coordination Group have been collectively planning for months to implement timely fire restrictions for public lands within the White Mountain area.
With extremely dry vegetation, the risk of wildland fire is extremely high. People who enjoy public lands in Apache and Navajo Counties can reduce the risk of fire by practicing fire safety and by adhering to fire prevention restrictions. The criteria officials consider before implementing fire restrictions include current and predicted weather, fuel conditions, fire activity levels, and available resources. Due to increasing fire danger, the following fire restrictions are deemed necessary to prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public health and safety:
- Fires, campfires, charcoal, coal and wood stoves are allowed in developed campgrounds only.
- These restrictions limit smoking to within enclosed vehicles, buildings, or in developed campgrounds.
- Pressurized liquid or gas stoves, lanterns, and heaters that can be turned off are allowed.
The fire restrictions will remain in place until lands within Apache and Navajo Counties receive significant precipitation.
White Mountain visitors are reminded that some campfire restrictions are always in effect, such as in forested areas within city limits of most northern Arizona communities. Additionally, fireworks are never allowed on National Forests. For more information about restrictions on public lands by calling (928) 333-3412 or toll free 1-877-864-6985 or visit (www.593info.org), and also the NEW interagency website: (Firerestrictions.us) created to inform residents and visitors about fire restrictions and closures across the South-west area.
Forest and White Mountain visitors are encouraged to be fire safe and show their commitment to wildfire prevention by going online and taking Smokey’s pledge.