By Tammy Gray –
With monsoons finally providing much-needed moisture and the Forest Service lifting stage two fire restrictions, the Navajo County Board of Supervisors lifted county-wide emergency fire restrictions during a meeting on Tuesday.
The county restrictions applied to all unincorporated areas, from the reservation line to the southern county boundary. Essentially, any type of open flame was prohibited, including smoking outdoors.
County Emergency Operations Deputy Plans Chief Catrina Roe noted that the county has been working closely with state, federal and city officials to coordinate fire restrictions. She explained that keeping fire restrictions similar throughout the county, regardless of jurisdiction, helps reduce confusion about when or where open flames are allowed.
Removal of the emergency fire restrictions means that in unincorporated areas of the county, campfires and other flames are again allowed. The county ordinance states that the following outdoor fires are allowed, “fires used only for the cooking of food or for providing warmth for human beings or for recreational purposes (campfires and charcoal fires); for the branding of animals; for the purpose of frost protection in farming or nursery; or for the disposal of flags pursuant to federal law.”
While the county has made an effort to coordinate fire restrictions with other agencies, some fire restrictions may still be in effect on state and federal lands, as well as within incorporated areas. Citizens are reminded to check local restrictions before setting an open flame.