Arizona Summer’s bring a lot of Fire Restrictions and Red Flag Warnings, but what does that mean?
What is a Red Flag Warning: [as defined by the Nationals Weather Service] means warm temperatures, very low humidity, and stronger winds are expected to combine to produce an increased risk of fire danger.
Just remember: hot, dry, and windy equates to the perfect formula for an out of control fire. A lot of the fires we’ve seen throughout Arizona, this and previous years, have been Human Caused. Meaning someone wanted a campfire or tossed a cigarette while they were hiking or were doing some outdoor target practice.
Can’t I just have a little campfire? No. One crackling log sending sparks up is all it takes. When it’s 65+ degrees at night, do you really need a campfire? It’s more of an aesthetic thing as that point. Yes we all grew up camping with campfires and marshmallows but during fire season it’s just not a good idea. We know you want one, but we also know you don’t want to be responsible for burning down a forest or home.
Fire Warnings aren’t only applicable to outdoor activities, they also include traveling. Dragging chains is one of the leading causes of brushfires along the highway. Please be conscious and cautious when hooking up your RV, toy trailer, or any other trailer with chains. If you’re driving past Sunset Point you can’t miss the scorched area on either side of the highway. That area gets hit just about every year(sometimes multiple times) because of sparks from chains.
What about Fire Restrictions?
As of July 10, 2020(today) Stage 2 Fire Restrictions have been in effect for Prescott, Prescott Valley, and all of Yavapai County since May 12, 2020. This means no open fires, no smoking outdoors(only inside or in your vehicle), no charcoal grills, no grinding or welding, no outdoor shooting, no doing anything that can create an ember, a spark, or a stationary hot object(think overheating car).
What if my campsite has a fire ring? Still no.
Monsoon season may have started but the rains haven’t. Right now the area is full of tinder, i.e. dry grasses, leaves, dead or dying trees, etc.. All it takes is a hot bullet casing, an overheating car pulled off into tall weeds on the side of the road, a tossed cigarette, any and all of these things has the potential to not only hope out acres upon acres, but also destroy homes of working families.
There are Stage 3 Restrictions in place throughout Arizona. This means closures. You can find more information about that by clicking here.
Most weather apps will show if there is a Red Flag Warning but they don’t show Fire Restrictions. Click here to visit the Department of Forestry and Fire Management for information regarding restrictions. Or click here for the most up to date info on restrictions and forest closures.
Click here to view the fires currently burning in Arizona and across the country.
Be safe. Be firewise. Be smart…. while enjoying the Prescott area.