Coconino National Forest slated to lower fire restrictions amid monsoon storms

Heavy rains have decreased fire danger in northern Arizona.

Campers can rejoice and use a fire to roast their s'mores in designated campgrounds starting Thursday morning, when Coconino National Forest will drop fire restrictions from Stage II to Stage I. 

Fire restrictions started nearly a month ago when fire danger spiked due to dry conditions around the forest. 

“So this weekend you will be allowed to have campfires within approved campgrounds," said Wesley Hall, a fire planner for the Coconino National Forest. "Those specific campgrounds listed will be allowed to have fires within the rings.”

Stage I fire restrictions prohibit fires, campfires, charcoal, coal stoves and wood stoves unless they are being used in a designated campground. Stage II fire restrictions allow no fire at all, even in campgrounds. 

Even with restrictions lowered to Stage I, if you are camping outside of designated campgrounds, you cannot have an open flame of any kind. 

"Everything else across the forest floor would still be under restrictions. So limitations on open flame campfires, charcoal and that kind of thing and also no smoking outside of a building or vehicle," said Hall. 

Hall also says to use portable liquid propane instead of an open flame.

The campgrounds listed below are all of the designated campgrounds where Stage I restrictions apply. 

On the Flagstaff Ranger District (listed in alphabetical order):

-Arizona Nordic Village
-Ashurst Lake Campground
-Bonito Campground
-Canyon Vista Campground
-Dairy Springs Campground
-Double Springs Campground
-Fernow & Kendrick Cabins
-Forked Pine Campground
-Lake View Campground
-Little Elden Horse Camp
-Locket Meadow Campground
-Lower Lake Mary Day-Use Site
-Narrows Picnic Area
-O’Leary Group Campground
-Pine Grove Campground
-Upper Lake Mary Boating Site

On the Red Rock Ranger District (which includes Oak Creek Canyon)

-Beaver Creek Day-Use Site
-Cave Springs Campground
-Chavez Group Site Campground
-Clear Creek Campground
-Crescent Moon Ranch Day-Use Site
-Crescent Moon Cabin
-Manzanita Campground
-Pine Flat Campground

On the Mogollon Rim Ranger District:

-Blue Ridge Campground
-Clints Well Campground
-Knoll Lake Campground
-Moqui Group Site Campground
-Rock Crossing Campground

For more information about fire restrictions, the Forest Service has a guide on its website.

For more information about camping in Coconino National Forest, you can visit the forest's website.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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