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Northern AZ Regional Fire Restrictions Lifted

July 10
15:06 2014

Coconino and Kaibab National Forests, Grand Canyon National Park, and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area are all lifting fire restrictions in Northern Arizona.

Forest Fire Danger Today - moderate_smDue to significant and widespread rain and rapidly decreasing fire danger, most areas in northern Arizona are lifting fire restrictions this week. The Grand Canyon National Park restrictions are being lifted in cooperation with the United States Forest Service, Tribal partners, and intergovernmental agencies in Northern Arizona.

Managers typically lift fire restrictions when at least a half inch of precipitation has been received over more than two-thirds of the forests. To date, many areas of both forests have received double that amount of precipitation, with an inch or more of rain being reported in many locations. Fire danger has decreased dramatically from “extreme” last week to “moderate” today.

With the onset of the monsoon season, the low number of human-caused fire starts, and the availability of many firefighting resources, we are comfortable that it is the appropriate time to lift fire restrictions. Fire restrictions were extremely effective this year in reducing the number of fires caused by people. We are thankful to our visitors for their help in preventing fires by complying with the restrictions that were in effect.” – Holly Kleindienst/ Deputy Fire Staff Officer for the Kaibab National Forest.

The two forests initially implemented campfire and smoking restrictions on April 18, and on June 13, the Grand Canyon park implemented restrictions on all wood burning and charcoal fires, including campfires, warming fires and charcoal barbecues.

As monsoonal moisture settles into the area, fire danger has decreased allowing fire managers to lift those restrictions. This was relatively early but was necessary due to a dry winter and impacts of long-term drought on the forests. Additional fire restrictions and area closures were implemented as the forests faced increasing levels of fire danger through the spring and summer.

With fire restrictions lifted, forest visitors are always expected to use caution with campfires and other potential ignition sources.

While monsoon storms bring much needed moisture, they also bring lightning. Natural lightning caused fires have started across the forest with the return of significant monsoon activity to northern Arizona. Fire managers are taking advantage of good conditions to allow some of these natural fires to benefit the forest and surrounding communities.

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