Contributed Article/Courtesy Forest Service
SPRINGERVILLE – The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (ASNFs) coordinated with federal, state, and local partners and terminated the Stage 1 Fire Restrictions effective Nov. 10, at 8 a.m.
The forest had originally implemented restrictions on Oct. 9, to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfire during extreme drought conditions, historically low fuel moisture, high fire danger, and limited availability of firefighting resources. The current forest fuels have received moisture from two recent storms, which have helped reduce the wildfire threat.
“The onset of late fall/early winter has brought moisture, lower temperatures, and higher relative humidity. The fire indices have dropped below the thresholds that warrant fire restrictions,” said Gary Strickland, Forest Fire Management Officer.
Although conditions continue to improve and the number of visitors has decreased, the forest expects to see a steady amount of hunters, campers, and first-time visitors as active hunts, fuelwood, and Christmas tree cutting activities are taking place (tree permits can be found here.)
As restrictions on campfires and smoking are lifted, forest managers urge visitors to continue to use caution around campfires and other potential ignition sources by following campfire safety procedures. Never leave your campsite until the fire is completely extinguished and cold to the touch. Violators of regulations that prohibit abandoning a campfire are subject to a fine and/or imprisonment. If an abandoned campfire causes a wildfire, violators can also be held responsible for fire suppression costs.