The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests is a cooperator of the White Mountain Fire Restrictions Coordination Group. This group also consists of Bureau of Indian Affairs, Navajo and Apache Counties, Northern AZ Fire Chiefs Association, Northern AZ Police Chiefs Association, National Park Service, and AZ Department of Forestry. Representatives from this group meet once a week or more if needed, at the beginning and throughout fire season to decide on when/if/what level of fire restrictions will be implemented. Decisions are based on a multitude of considerations such as, but not limited to: 7 day weather outlook, monthly weather outlook, availability of wildland fire resources, how many fires are occurring, and current fire danger. As soon as the group decides fire restrictions should be implemented, the public and fire managers will be notified, and the same restrictions will be implemented across the White Mountains.
Fire Restrictions come in different stages and become more prohibitive with each stage. Most forests begin by implementing a Stage I Restriction and if conditions worsen, Stage II is implemented. There is no “Stage III” when conditions worsen further. Instead, a forest closure is usually the next step which means the public is not allowed to enter the boundaries of the national forest due to the fire danger.
Stage I Restrictions
What is Prohibited:
No building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal or wood stove, except in designated developed recreation sites.
No smoking except in an enclosed vehicle or building.
No welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
No fireworks, explosives or tracer rounds are permitted on national forest lands at any time.
What is Allowed:
Petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, or heating devices providing such devices meet the fire underwriter’s specification for safety, can be turned on/off and operated in areas that are barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the device.
Shooting firearms IS allowed. Just make sure to follow normal federal rules: No shooting within a ¼ mile of a campsite, developed recreation site or occupied area, residence or building; No shooting across a road, trail or body of water, or in any manner or place whereby any person property is exposed to injury or damage as a result of such discharge; No shooting in a cave. With any tracer bullet or incendiary ammunition.
Stage II Restrictions Forest Order
What is Prohibited:
Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove fire. Devices fueled solely by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off are the exception. Such devices can only be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the device.
Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building.
Using an explosive.
Discharging a firearm, except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal, or tribal laws and regulations or in an agency designated shooting range.
Possessing, discharging or using any type of firework or pyrotechnic device.
Welding or operating acetylene or other torches with an open flame.
Operating or using any internal combustion engines, this includes chainsaws. Generators are allowed as long as they have an approved spark arresting device and are used within an enclosed vehicle or building or in an area that is completely cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the generator.
Possessing or using a motor vehicle off National Forest System roads, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway.
What is Allowed:
Petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, or heating devices providing such devices meet the fire underwriter’s specification for safety, can be turned on/off and operated in areas that are barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the device. You may use a generator as long as you have cleared flammable material at least 3 feet around it or it is enclosed in your vehicle (such as the rear portion of an RV or pickup).