Campers, take care with campfires; keep yourselves, forests safe

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — Kaibab National Forest managers would like to remind visitors and the public to use extreme caution with campfires and any recreational activity that could potentially cause a wildfire as the holiday weekend approaches.

Although there are currently no fire restrictions in effect on the forest, fire danger will move to a rating of “High” on Friday on both the Tusayan and Williams Ranger Districts. Warmer temperatures and gusty winds, coupled with fuel moisture levels that change dynamically in the late spring and early summer months, can significantly influence the potential for an unwanted wildfire in the forest.

Kaibab National Forest managers welcome people to visit and enjoy a wide variety of unique recreational opportunities the forest has to offer, but they are also emphasizing the message that there is always a need to be responsible with campfires.

Additional fire personnel will be out patrolling the forest this weekend to inform visitors about weather and potential fire conditions, but forest managers offer the following suggestions to help ensure a safe visit to the Kaibab National Forest and other national forests:

  • Never abandon or leave a campfire unattended.
  • Before going hiking or camping, check for fire restrictions and closures in the area. Direct inquiries to the agency that manages the public lands you are visiting.
  • Have an adult present.
  • When using a portable stove, clear the area of grasses and other fine fuels, and be careful to prevent the stove from tipping over.
  • Have a shovel and plenty of water on hand to put it out.
  • Ensure the area surrounding your campfire is free of any burnable materials.
  • Use existing campfire rings to minimize impact to the surrounding soil.
  • Consider alternatives to campfires. During times of high fire danger — and above — unattended campfires are likely to escape.
  • Never have a campfire when it is windy, hot and dry.
  • Remember fireworks are prohibited on all national forest lands.
  • Dispose of all trash and debris in appropriate receptacles.
  • Make sure campfires are completely extinguished before you go to bed or leave the area; douse it with water and stir until it is cold to the touch.

As weather conditions become warmer and drier, fire managers will continue to assess the need to implement fire restrictions. Forest visitors may call the Kaibab National Forest fire information phone line at 928-635-8311 for current conditions and the status of fire restrictions.

To find out if fire restrictions are in effect anywhere in Utah, Nevada, Arizona or anywhere else in the country, visit the FireRestrictions.us website.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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