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Forests in Arizona lifting, reducing some fire restrictions

July 16, 2021 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — Recent rain and cooler temperatures are prompting several national forests across Arizona to lift or scale back prohibitions and other restrictions on campfires and other open-flame activities that were previously implemented in order to reduce the threat of severe wildfires.

Forests announcing changes effective Friday included Apache-Sitgreaves, Coconino, Kaibab Prescott and Tonto. Some of those forests said they still have closures and restrictions in effect in some areas due to active wildfires and other circumstances.

The Apache-Sitgreaves, Coconino and Kaibab forests based in Springerville, Flagstaff and Kaibab, respectively, said they rescinded all fire restrictions, but officials urged people to still avoid doing things that could accidentally cause wildfires, particularly on dry and windy days.

The Prescott and Tonto forests based in Prescott and Phoenix, respectively, said they were reducing restrictions on fire and shooting. Prohibited activities included starting a fire outside a fire structure provided by the Forest Service or within a designated area or smoking outside an enclosed vehicle, building or certain other settings, those forests said.