ARIZONA, USA — Both the Kaibab and Coconino national forests are reopened to the public as of Tuesday after being closed due to extreme wildfire danger, national forest officials said.
State officials said that the Tonto National Forest will end Stage 3 fire closures on Wednesday morning, but Stage 2 restrictions are still in place.
The fire danger in both forests has reduced due to recent rainfall and cooler temperatures, officials said. Fire danger is still present and the forests are reopening with fire restrictions in place.
The Stage II Fire Restrictions in place include:
- All fires (including charcoal and briquettes) being prohibited on all National Forest lands.
- Smoking being prohibited forest-wide except within an enclosed vehicle, building, or a developed recreation site.
- Operating a generator, chainsaw or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine; using an explosive; blasting, welding, or operating any acetylene or other torch with an open flame is prohibited from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Any violation of the restrictions could result in a fine of up to $5,000 and/or a prison sentence of up to six months.
Closures on State Trust Lands have also been lifted and all areas going back into Stage II restrictions with the exception of Southern Arizona. No restrictions will be implemented there.
Stoves or grills that are solely fueled by pressurized liquid petroleum or pressurized liquid petroleum gas fuels are allowable, officials said. Generators with approved spark arresting devices are also permitted in areas that are barren or cleared of any flammable material at least 3 feet around the generator.