Fire restrictions to be lifted Wednesday on Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts but remain in effect on North Kaibab Ranger District

Release Date: Jul 9, 2018  

Contact(s): Jackie Banks, 928-635-8314


Williams, Ariz., July 9, 2018—For Immediate Release. Due to significant and widespread precipitation south of the Grand Canyon, the Kaibab National Forest will lift all fire restrictions across the Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts at 8 a.m. Wednesday as well as the area closure of the Bill Williams Mountain watershed. Due to different weather conditions, however, Stage II fire restrictions will remain in effect for the entire North Kaibab Ranger District, which is located north of the Grand Canyon.
As of Wednesday morning, there will be no fire restrictions in effect on the Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts. The districts have received a substantial amount of rain over the last few days with more in the forecast. The area closure of the Bill Williams Mountain watershed will also be lifted, and visitors can once again camp, hike and drive in the popular recreation area.

“I want to express my appreciation to our local communities and visitors for their outstanding compliance with fire restrictions this year,” said Art Gonzales, fire staff officer for the Kaibab National Forest. “We had an incredibly low number of human-caused wildfire starts on the forest despite being in extreme fire danger and having one of the driest periods on record in many years. When members of the public abide by fire restrictions and closures, they greatly help us in protecting their public lands and adjacent communities from the threats posed by human-caused wildfires.”

The North Kaibab Ranger District has not yet received the amount of precipitation seen on the southern two districts of the Kaibab National Forest and will therefore remain in Stage II fire restrictions until rainfall amounts increase.
Under the Stage II fire restrictions that will remain in effect on the North Kaibab Ranger District, the following are prohibited:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove fire, including fires in developed campgrounds and improved sites.
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building.
  • Discharging a firearm except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal, or tribal laws and regulations.
  • Operating chainsaws or any internal combustion engine between the hours of 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Welding or operating acetylene or other torches with an open flame.
  • Using an explosive. (It is always illegal to use any kind of explosives on National Forest lands.)

Exemptions to the Stage II fire restrictions that will remain in effect on the North Kaibab Ranger District include the following:

  • Using a device fueled solely by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off. Such devices can only be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the device.
  • Operating generators with an approved spark arresting device within an enclosed vehicle or building or in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the generator.
  • Operating motorized vehicles in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Parking off any road must be in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the vehicle.

Due to the lack of precipitation over last winter and the rapidly increasing fire danger, forest officials first implemented campfire and smoking restrictions, also known as Stage I fire restrictions, across the entire Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts on April 27. Those were quickly increased to Stage II fire restrictions on May 4, with the closure of the Bill Williams Mountain watershed implemented on May 11. The Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts have remained in Stage II fire restrictions with the Bill Williams Mountain area closure since that time.

The North Kaibab Ranger District first entered Stage I fire restrictions on May 18 and then increased to Stage II on June 8. Because of its location north of the Grand Canyon, the North Kaibab Ranger District frequently enters fire restrictions and then remains in them later than the rest of the Kaibab National Forest, as is the case this year.

Fire restrictions and area closures are implemented when necessary in order to protect human life, property and natural resources. The Forest Service uses fire restrictions and area closures in order to prevent unwanted, human-caused fires and to limit the exposure of visitors during periods of potentially dangerous fire conditions.

For more information about the Kaibab National Forest and any fire restrictions in effect, reference the following sources:

Fire restrictions to be lifted Wednesday on Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts but remain in effect on North Kaibab Ranger District news release 7-9-18