Coconino National Forest closes Friday

Flagstaff — As fire danger increases across the Southwest the Coconino National Forest will close to public access and use Friday, morning, June 23 at 8 a.m.

Effective Friday, the Coconino National Forest will close to public access. Conditions have warranted closure of the entire national forest. Closures in the past have proven to be an effective means of reducing the number of human-caused fires.

“While campfire and smoking restrictions have been effective in terms of minimizing the number of fires, we are at the point that we cannot afford the risk of any human-caused fires,” said Coconino Forest Supervisor Nora Rasure. “Several recent fires have exhibited extreme fire behavior, including the Woody and Brins Fires. We are not only concerned about the risk to communities and natural resources, we are concerned about the potential difficulties evacuating recreationists from remote areas should a wildfire start.”

Included in the Coconino closures:

• All campgrounds, day use picnic areas and cabins on the forest.

• All trails on the Coconino National Forest.

• All lakes, including Lake Mary, Ashurst Lake, Kinnikinick Lake, Blue Ridge Reservoir, Stoneman Lake.

• Cinder Hills Off-Highway Vehicle Area north of Flagstaff.

• St. Joseph’s Youth Camp near Mormon Lake.

• Arizona Snowbowl Skyride.

• All National Forest System Roads will be closed, but all interstates, state and county roads through the Coconino National Forest will remain open.

Sedona and Flagstaff still offer many summer attractions and activities. Private campgrounds and the campground at Fort Tuthill County Park near Flagstaff will remain open with campfire and smoking restrictions. All Forest Service offices and visitor centers will be open. The closure will be lifted when sufficient precipitation is received to adequately reduce the risk of wildfire to a manageable level, and hot, dry weather conditions are not forecast to continue.

For further information about closures and restrictions in the Coconino National Forest, call

928-226-4601 or toll-free 1-877-864-6985 between 6:00 A.M. and 10:00 P.M. Information is posted on the internet at www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino.

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