Campfires prohibited at Grand Canyon due to extreme fire danger

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GRAND CANNYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. -- Grand Canyon National Park officials are increasing fire restrictions due to extreme fire danger.

Beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday, all wood-burning and charcoal fires, including campfires, warming fires and charcoal barbecues, will be prohibited throughout the park, including all campgrounds and residential areas, except the Colorado River corridor.

Pressurized liquid or gas stoves, lanterns and heaters possessing shut-off devices are allowed.

The restrictions are being implemented in response to current and predicted weather and fuel conditions, as well as corresponding fire danger rating levels. The restrictions will remain in place until significant precipitation falls and fire danger levels subside.

"With this new level of restrictions, we are increasing our efforts to reduce the risk of accidental fire ignitions," said acting Chief of Fire and Aviation Chris Marks. "We hope visitors will also consider taking some additional voluntary precautions."

During high fire danger, officials ask visitors to take a few precautions:

   •  Before going hiking or camping, check for fire restrictions and closures in the area. Direct your inquiries to the agency that manages the public lands you are visiting.
  
   •  If you are a smoker, smoke only on paved surfaces or in an enclosed vehicle; and never toss cigarette butts on the ground. Use an ashtray or pack butts out in your pocket.

   •  If you are using a portable stove, clear the area of grasses and other fine fuels and be careful to prevent the stove from tipping over.
  
   •  Consider alternatives to campfires, even when they are allowed. During times of high fire danger unattended campfires are likely to escape.
  
   •  If you are driving on unpaved roads, be careful of parking or driving your vehicle in tall, dry vegetation.  Hot vehicle parts may start a fire.
  
   •  If you see smoke or fire, note the location and report it to authorities. Do NOT attempt to put out a fire by yourself.