JUNE 5, 2013
Despite warnings over 70 illegal campfires were discovered on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests Memorial Day weekend
SPRINGERVILLE – Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests personnel found over 70 illegal campfires while patrolling Memorial Day weekend. “In most cases, campers complied with our request to put out their campfires, however, citations were issued, according to Mark Empey Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests’ Fire Management Officer.
Each spring as the weather warms, the winds increase, and vegetation dries out, fire danger across the state creeps upward. Most Arizona campers are used to the almost annual need for restrictions on having campfires. Those Stage 1 restrictions, prohibiting campfires outside of developed campgrounds, went into place last week across public lands in Arizona.
We are experiencing severe drought across the forest. Arizona experienced several mega fires in 2011 and this year’s drought conditions and moisture emulate the blue print from 2011. The Forest would like to enlist the public’s help in reporting abandoned fires or people who build campfires outside of developed campgrounds.
The fire restrictions will remain in place until national forests service lands within Apache, Greenlee 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.311info.net, and also the NEW interagency website: (Firerestrictions.us) created to inform residents and visitors about fire restrictions and closures across the South-west area.