Flagstaff Issues Fire Restrictions

By  Stina Sieg
April 16, 2014

Northern Arizona is getting ready for fire season about a month early. Flagstaff and the US Forest Service are starting their annual fire restrictions at 8 a.m. this Friday.

There are four levels of fire restrictions throughout the year. This first one deals mostly with campfires and smoking, and usually begins in mid-May. But a dry winter has prompted extra caution.

You can never predict if an active fire season is coming, but “I think the stage is there. The fuels are there,” said Paul Summerfelt, the fire management officer for the Flagstaff Fire Department. “The conditions are such that we’re dry. We know we’re coming into the most active fire season, which is always that May-June window.”

He adds that local, federal and state agencies coordinate their fire restrictions every year. He expects spots like Grand Canyon National Park and nearby national forests will soon issue restrictions as well. Fire season usually ends in early July, when monsoons hit Arizona.