Campfire ban in effect for much of Arizona

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Too much wind whipping through too many dry trees means high fire danger in much of Arizona.

That's why this Memorial Day weekend, red flag warnings mean no campfires at many campgrounds, including the Manzanita Campground in Oak Creek.

As Megan Asper cooked grilled cheese sandwiches for her family, she said the absence of a campfire ruined their camping adventure. She says not being able to have her children roast marshmallows takes away from the experience of pitching a tent and enjoying time outdoors.

At another Manzanita campsite, Maria Gonzalez also isn't happy about not being able to have a campfire, but she understands why the campfire ban is in effect. 

It was Memorial Day in 2010 when an unattended campfire sparked the Wallow Fire, Arizona's largest wildfire.  More than a half million acres of the White Mountains in Eastern Arizona were torched and two cousins from Tucson spent time in jail and face large fines for not putting their campfire completely out. 

It's hoped this year's campfire ban will keep a repeat of that devastating fire from happening.

Before you head out this Memorial Day weekend, check with the National Forests, Bureau of Land Management, State Land Department, State Park's Department and other agencies to learn what fire restrictions are in place.