Don't Forget, Fireworks are Illegal in the Forest

30 June 2018   Debbie Maneely
It’s illegal, and it’s unwise.

PRESCOTT, AZ (June 29, 2018) – Forest officials expect increased numbers of visitors to the Forest’s most popular campgrounds and picnic areas over the holiday and adjoining weekends. Visitors are reminded that the fire danger remains extreme and that Stage II fire restrictions as well as an area closure on the Bradshaw Ranger District remain in place. Visitors are also advised that fireworks and all pyrotechnic devices are always prohibited on National Forest lands.

Fire restrictions and area closures are implemented when necessary in order to protect human life, property and natural resources. The Forest Service uses fire restrictions and area closures in order to prevent unwanted, human-caused fires and to limit the exposure of visitors during periods of potentially dangerous fire conditions.

Members of the public can help protect their public lands by being aware of current conditions and always abiding by all fire restrictions and area closures in effect.

Stage II fire restrictions prohibit the following:

1. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or stove fire, including fires in developed campgrounds and improved sites.

2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building.

3. Discharging a firearm, air rifle, or gas gun, except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal, or tribal laws and regulations.

4. Operating any internal combustion engine between the hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Chain saws must have an operational spark arresting device.

5. Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with an open flame.

6. Fireworks are prohibited year-round on all National Forest lands.

Exemptions to the restrictions include the following:

1. Using a device fueled solely by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off. Such devices can only be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the device.

2. Operating generators with an approved spark arresting device within an enclosed vehicle (enclosed RV cabinet) or building or in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the generator.

3. Operating motorized vehicles in compliance with forest Travel Management regulations.

In addition to the Stage II fire restrictions that are in effect across the entire Prescott National Forest, there is also an area closure on a portion of the Bradshaw Ranger District. The closure addresses areas relatively inaccessible to firefighters with large expanses of dry chaparral vegetation and few completed hazardous fuel treatments. The closure is being enforced with increased presence by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, Arizona Game and Fish and US Forest Service Law enforcement.

Fire restrictions and the area closure on the Prescott National Forest will remain in effect until significant and widespread precipitation is received, at which time they will be officially rescinded.

For more information about the Stage II fire restrictions and the area closure on the Bradshaw Ranger District, including maps, reference the following sources:

Violating any fire restrictions carries a mandatory appearance in federal court, punishable as a Class B misdemeanor with a fine of up to $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, and/or up to six months in prison.

The public can obtain additional fire information via the following:

· Arizona Fire Restrictions: https://firerestrictions.us/az

· Public Lands in Arizona: www.wildlandfire.AZ.gov or call 1-877-864-6985

· Prescott National Forest Web Site: https://www.fs.usda.gov/prescott/

· Local Ranger Stations: Bradshaw Ranger District, (928) 443-8000; Chino Valley Ranger District (928) 777-2200; Verde Ranger District (928) 567-4121

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