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Coconino NF to offer firewood permits beginning April 13

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., April 6, 2018, For Immediate Release — The Coconino National Forest will begin selling firewood permits for the 2018 season next Friday (April 13), and the public may begin cutting on the following Saturday (April 14) after the purchase of a permit.

The minimum cost for a permit is $20, which is good for four cords of wood and can be purchased at the following locations April 13 through mid-December each weekday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (except federal holidays):

Additionally, the Verde Ranger Station, located on state Route 260 in Camp Verde, will begin selling fuelwood permits for the Coconino National Forest on Monday, April 16, on weekdays during business hours.

Each additional cord of wood, after purchasing a permit, is $5—up to a maximum of 12 cords per household for the season.  A free-use permit may be obtained for specified areas of the forest, one per household each season, which allows up to five cords of down and dead wood to be gathered. There are currently no free use areas available, but they should become available throughout the season.  Please check with your local office periodically for any updates.

Firewood permits allow for the following:

1. Any dead wood lying on the ground can be removed.

2. Dead standing pine or fir can be cut that is less than 12 inches in diameter or less than 15 feet tall.

3. Dead standing pinyon and juniper can be cut regardless of size, unless there is obvious use by wildlife.

4. Standing dead aspen less than 12 inches in diameter or less than 15 feet tall may be cut only from June 1 to September 30.

A map and more detailed information are provided with each permit. Load tags will be issued as part of each firewood permit and must be physically attached to each ¼ cord or less of firewood, punched or marked, and visible from the rear of the vehicle.  Four load tags will be provided for each cord of wood issued on the permit. The goal of this load tagging system is to ensure accountability for the amount of wood removed from the forest.

Though forest roads are still subject to seasonal closure due to wet or winter weather, the vast majority of the roads will be open.

Firewood cutters should be aware that chainsaws can throw sparks and ignite grasses and brush, so please take care when cutting firewood. Always carry a shovel and a fire extinguisher or water in case of a fire start. Additionally, all chainsaws must be equipped with a stainless steel spark arrestor screen. Cutters should check with forest offices periodically for information about the implementation of fire restrictions.

Unless specified elsewhere in the permit or identified as prohibited, motorized off-road travel is authorized to access and load firewood. The permit does not authorize motorized cross-country travel to scout for firewood, but it does authorize off-road vehicle use by the most direct route in and out of the area to accomplish firewood retrieval. Please exercise caution when driving off-road and avoid resource damage.

In addition, the Coconino National Forest now has electronic GPS-enabled firewood maps for smartphones, tablets and Garmin GPS devices that can be used as a supplement to the firewood guide that is issued with each permit.