Fire and Aviation Management

Fire Danger, Industrial Plan, Preparedness Level and Fire Restrictions

  •  Current Fire Danger: MODERATE
  •  Current Fire Restrictions in Effect: None

Fires are never allowed at Fossil Creek anywhere; never allowed in Oak Creek Canyon (except in developed campgrounds and recreation areas), and the year-round fire restriction in the Mt. Elden, Dry Lake Hills area is currently still in effect.

There are different stages to Fire Restrictions, which become more prohibitive with each stage. These stages are explained and include Stage I and Stage II.  The last stage is implementing a Forest Closure. Remember: At least one fire regulation is in place across the forest, all year round: Fires must be OUT  - cold to the touch - before they're left unattended!

For our contractors:

  • Preparedness Level: 2
  • Industrial Plan: A


Campfire Restrictions and Area or Forest Closures (Protocol and Processes)

The Coconino National Forest uses the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS) to assist in determining Preparedness Levels and when Campfire and Smoking restrictions may be implemented.  Using this tool helps Fire Managers to identify critical times when fires can become difficult to control. 

Campfire and Smoking restriction discussions between adjacent National Forests, National Parks, State Agencies and the National Weather Service generally begins in mid-April depending on forest conditions and weather forecasts.  A review of operating plans, weather trends and forest conditions defines when the need for fire restrictions will be applied.  These key questions and weather parameters are addressed during these discussions and are defined in the following narrative.. [MORE]


How to report a fire

As visitation increases on the Coconino National Forest, officials ask for continued cooperation in preventing wildfires. Residents and visitors are being extra vigilant for fire safety. Here are some tips on how to report a fire.

  • Call 911. The Coconino National Forest dispatch center can also be reached at 928-527-3600.
  • Provide your name and phone number in case we need to call you back.
  • Provide your location as specifically as possible. Refer to Forest Road numbers, estimated mileage from main road intersections and/or geographic landmarks. Example: I’m on Forest Road 171 about a mile south of the junction with Forest Road 245.
  • Describe what you observe, and if any people and vehicles are in the area.
  • Don’t put yourself at risk. You’ve done your civic duty by reporting the fire. Leave the fire-fighting to the professionals and move a safe distance away.


Prescribed Fires and Smoke

Many parts of our forest are susceptible to insect infestations, disease, and catastrophic wildfire. It is because of our love of our forest, and our desire to improve its health that we prescribe fire. Much like a doctor prescribes medication to a sick patient, Forest Service managers sometimes prescribe fire to improve the health of our local forests [More]


Southwest Coordination Center

[graphic] SWCC LogoFor current wildland fire information in the southwest visit SWCC. The Southwest Coordination Center is the interagency focal point for coordinating the mobilization of resources between the twelve Federal and State Dispatch Centers of the Southwest Area and, when necessary, the National Coordination Center in Boise, ID, for assignment throughout the nation. Located in Albuquerque, NM, the SWCC mobilizes resources for wildland fire, prescribed fire, and other all-risk incidents. Arizona Interagency Wildfire Prevention and Information Website will have information specific to Arizona.


Source of Fires

It is important to recognize that human-caused wildfires are in the minority when it comes to sources of ignition. As you can see from the 40-Year Fire Timeline below, lightning has been the major source of wildfires on the Coconino National Forest, so wildfires are simply a part of the ponderosa pine ecosystem that we live in. Click on the image below to see a larger version.

40 Year timeline showing that the major source of wildfires is lightning.


Recent Type I Fires on the Coconino National Forest

Slide Fire Slide Fire (2014)

The Slide Fire was human caused and began north of Slide Rock State Park in Oak Creek Canyon on May 20, 2014.  It burned 21,227 acres through the canyon and on top of the Mogollon Rim.  More details about the fire can be found [HERE].

Smoke rises from the Schultz Fire June 20 at 1:30 p.m. Schultz Fire (2010)

The Schultz Fire was started by an abandoned campfire near Schultz Tank north of Flagstaff on June 20, 2010. It burned approximately 15,000 acres along the eastern slopes of the San Francisco Peaks, west of Highway 89. The Coconino National Forest has been hard at work since implementing multitudes of recover and restoration efforts....[MORE].



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