Coconino County bans campfires ahead of holiday

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) -- Coconino County has banned all campfires and charcoal grills ahead of the holiday weekend to avoid what officials say could be devastating effects to the community.

The Stage II restrictions went into effect Friday morning and are indefinite.

They come as a wildfire is burning in Oak Creek Canyon, a popular hiking and camping destination for the Memorial Day holiday.

While open fires aren't allowed on county land, campfires still are allowed in developed campgrounds on the Coconino and Kaibab national forests.

Coconino forest spokeswoman Heather Noel says expected moisture will lessen the fire danger, and any new wildfires would have immediate response through resources already in the area.

The Prescott, Apache-Sitgreaves and Tonto national forests also are in Stage II restrictions, as are Navajo and Gila counties.

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