Only You Can Prevent Them!
Fire Warnings Are In Effect Throughout The State
July 1, 2018
Very High Fire Danger At Grand Canyon National Park
With fire restrictions in effect across much of northern Arizona, including Grand Canyon National Park's neighbors Coconino County, Arizona state lands in the county, and the Kaibab National Forest, NPS fire managers remind visitors and residents that fire danger in the park is very high.
State 1 Restrictions
Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP) is in State 1 fire restrictions year-round, which means campfires are only allowed in the park's three designated campgrounds, and may only be ignited in grills or defined fire rings. GCNP fire managers can implement further restrictions depending on weather, fuel moisture, and available resources.
With current and predicted weather and fuel conditions, visitors and residents should prepare for Stage 2 fire restrictions in the coming weeks.
When GCNP implements Stage 2 fire restrictions, all wood-burning and charcoal fires, campfires, warming fires and charcoal barbecues will be prohibited throughout the park, including in all campgrounds and residential areas. Pressurized liquid gas stoves, lanterns, and heaters with shut-off devices are allowed. Park stores will not sell firewood.
Once GCNP implements Stage 2 fire restrictions, those restrictions will remain in place until the park receives significant precipitation, most likely from monsoon thunderstorms.
For Information On Fire Activity
The park will send out notifications when and if Stage 2 restrictions go into effect. Information specific to Grand Canyon National Park's fire restrictions and fire activity is available at https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/management/firemanagement.htm.
For more information about fire restrictions throughout Arizona, visit https://firerestrictions.us/az/. To learn about the National Park Service's wildland fire program, visit https://www.nps.gov/fire/.
Coconino County Implements Fire-Safety Program 'Ready, Set, Go!'
Coconino County is launching a proactive and collaborative fire preparedness program between local, state and federal governmental agencies focusing on the importance of wildland fire danger. The unusually dry winter and warm temperatures could bring an early start to Arizona's wildfire season increasing the threat to the safety of residents, visitors and property.
The Ready, Set, Go! (RSG) program educates residents about proactive measures to take before an emergency, such as proper waste management, and actions to follow when communities are threatened.
The County adopted the three tenets to encourage citizens to get ready by preparing now for what threatens their community, be set by maintaining awareness of significant danger and to go, or evacuate immediately when the danger is current and life-threatening.
"Fire and post wildfire flooding are the number one danger to the safety of residents and property in Coconino County, especially after this extremely dry winter," said Chairman Matt Ryan. "It's important that citizens are prepared and ready to protect themselves this upcoming fire season.
Signing up for the County's emergency notification system and contacting your local fire department or fire district for information about wildland fire threat is key to staying informed and safe."
This program has also been adopted by the Coconino County Sheriff and the Arizona Sheriff's Association. The Ready, Set, Go! program highlights actions residents should take during each step:
READY: 'Prepare Now'
• Be aware of hazards that can threaten your community.
• Register for the Coconino County emergency notification system (see below).
• Create defensible space around your home by keeping grass mowed short and trimming vegetation.
• Build an emergency supplies kit. Start with the five P's: people and pet supplies, prescriptions, papers, personal needs and priceless items.
SET: 'Be Alert'
• There is significant danger in your area.
• Consider voluntarily relocating to a shelter or with family/friends outside of the affected area.
• This might be the only notice you receive.
• Danger in your area is current and life-threatening.
• Evacuate immediately to a shelter or to family/friends outside the affected area.
• Follow instructions from emergency personnel, and stay on designated evacuation routes.
The Ready, Set, Go! program started in March 2011, when the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) aimed to improve the dialogue between fire departments and the residents they serve. Sign up for the County emergency notification system at coconino.az.gov/207/Emergency-Management and visit ein.az.gov to learn more about hazards in the state and how to prepare.
Fire Restrictions Designated For Tonto National Forest
Target shooting and campfires prohibited.
Drought conditions, warm temperatures, and increasing fire danger prompted the Tonto National Forest to implement fire restrictions on the Tonto National Forest this spring. Fire-causing activities will be prohibited across the entire Tonto National Forest.
Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or charcoal-burning device is prohibited. Smoking is prohibited except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or a developed recreation site.
Operating a chainsaw or any other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine is prohibited between 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The discharging of firearms, air rifles or gas guns, except when engaged in a legal hunt in accordance with state, federal or tribal laws and regulations. The use of fireworks, explosives or a pyrotechnic device is always prohibited.
The use of petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, and heating devices are allowed, if they are equipped with a switch or attached manual device that allows the fire to be extinguished immediately. Operating a motorized vehicle on Forest Service roads is allowed as long as you park in an area devoid of all vegetation.
"We are going into restrictions earlier than normal due to the record dry winter and spring we've had this year. Fuel moisture and humidity levels have been decreasing steadily across the forest and the fire danger is high," said Tonto National Forest Fire Staff Officer Don Nunley. "These precautionary measures are intended to protect forest resources and enhance our visitors' quality recreation experiences."
"We continue to remind the public that all fireworks are prohibited on the forest at all times and this includes the use of exploding targets," emphasized Nunley.
Violation of these fire restrictions is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment for up to six months.
For more information regarding fire restrictions on the Tonto National Forest, please call (602) 225-5200, or check online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/tonto.
For general information on fire activity and restrictions in Arizona, call toll free 877-864-6985, or visit the https://firerestrictions.us/az/.
County Urges People To Sign Up For Emergency Notifications
Coconino County officials have encouraged all residents to sign-up to receive emergency notifications at coconino.az.gov/ready. Emergency notifications have proven to save lives.
"This could be a very active, long and dangerous fire season," said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Matt Ryan. "The Copley Fire [in April was] a reminder of the crucial importance of emergency notifications during wildfires and when evacuations are enacted. We strongly ask everyone in the County to sign up for these important alerts."
During An Emergency
During an emergency, the County's notification system sends calls, emails or text-message alerts directly to people's mobile device or landline if they have signed up.
"The best way to help ensure the safety of all our constituents during a wildfire or other emergency, is for people to sign up for our emergency notification systems," said Coconino County Emergency Management Director Todd Whitney.
Despite the Red Flag Warning issued the day of the Copley Fire by the National Weather Service (NWS), the fire was suspected to have started due to illegal burning. Prior to any burning, citizens are reminded to pay attention to weather warnings and to contact their local fire district or the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality for burn permits.
Burning is not allowed on Red Flag Days, which are announced on the NWS page, http://www.weather.gov/fgz.
Follow The RSG Program
Residents are also encouraged to follow the Ready, Set, Go! program including keeping gutters and yards clear of debris, creating a defensible space around your home and by keeping grass mowed short, and trimming vegetation.
To Learn More
For more information on emergency preparedness go to coconino.az.gov/207/Emergency-Management. Visit ein.az.gov to learn more about hazards in the state and how to prepare.