Fire Restrictions


Stage I Fire Restrictions in place as of June 1, 2017.

Of particular importance in our creeks and riparian areas, fire can devastate wildlife habitat and recreation areas. Watson Woods Riparian Preserve has experienced several wildfires over the years – the most severe of which occurred in 1997 and burned almost 40 acres (which represents 1/3 of the Preserve). Impacts are still evident on the ground to a careful observer. As our friend Smokey Bear might say: ‘Only you can can prevent riparian wildfires.’

Please use caution while you are out and about.

WW Fire 3_sm

Read Scott Orr’s Daily Courier Article for more info:

With the warm, windy days of late spring drying out the vegetation in the Prescott basin, the U.S. Forest Service, Central Arizona Fire & Medical Authority and Prescott Fire Department are all enacting a Stage 1 fire ban, effective Thursday, June 1, at 8 a.m.

Prescott National Forest managers have determined that “rapid drying of live and dead forest vegetation, escalating fire weather conditions, the potential commitment of firefighting resource across the region, and increased forest visitor use” present a danger of wildfire, said Debbie Maneely, USFS spokeswoman.

 The fire restrictions mean that the following activities are not allowed:

• Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove, except in developed recreation sites with metal fire rings or cooking grills.

• Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or in a developed recreation site in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

• Discharging a firearm, except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal laws and regulations.

“The dry condition of vegetation across much of the Central Highlands of Yavapai County, including the Prescott National Forest, is climbing steadily above average, trending toward very high or extreme conditions,” said Pete Gordon, Fuels, Fire, and Aviation staff officer for the Prescott National Forest.

“The winter and spring precipitation brought much needed relief from the drought, but with it an abundance of grasses.  These grasses are now tall and curing, making them quickly available for fast-moving wildfires.”

The National Forest restrictions will remain in effect until Aug. 15 or when forest officials determine that conditions have changed sufficiently to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfire, Maneely said.

Prescott Fire and Central Arizona Fire officials issued a joint press release announcing that the areas under their jurisdiction also are under the Stage 1 fire restriction.

That includes the towns of Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, Dewey-Humboldt, Paulden, and the areas surrounding the City of Prescott such as Williamson Valley, upper Copper Basin Road and Mountain Club area, Ponderosa Park off White Spar Road, the Senator Highway areas of Karen Drive, Sweet Acres, and Oak Knoll Village, and the areas extending south of Prescott including Government Canyon and Diamond Valley.

“As the fire danger continues to increase, our Stage II restrictions may also be put into effect as we move into our summer months. These restrictions will stay in effect until we receive significant rain throughout the area to justify lifting the restrictions,” the release states.

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