• Munds Park Today

FIREWISE UPDATE

Updated: Aug 31


By Cliff Pearlberg

As we get closer to summer weather and fire restrictions are put in place, private citizens of Munds Park need to know what we can do to prevent forest fires, understand the current restrictions, and possible consequences for violating them.


What are the current restrictions?  For Munds Park and Coconino County jurisdictions, the Pinewood Fire Department and the county have placed the following restrictions in effect:


All campfires and charcoal burning are banned in Munds Park!

This includes all burn barrels and fire permits. You may still use propane-powered grills, lanterns, fire pits, and stoves as long as they have an on/off switch.


Stage 2 Fire Restrictions are in effect.

Coconino National Forest, Flagstaff Ranger District, which surrounds Munds Park prohibit: Igniting, building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, including charcoal grills and barbecues, coal and wood-burning stoves.


Forest visitors can use pressurized liquid or gas devices (stoves, grills, or lanterns) with shut-off valves in an area at least three feet from any flammable materials.


Violating the campfire ban may result in an appearance in federal court, fines, and possible jail time.


Fire restrictions can change - always check with the agency and KNOW BEFORE YOU GO.


I recommend no campfires or pit fires when the fire danger is HIGH or greater for safety.

Penalties are:

  • Burning of wildlands recklessly is a Class-1 Misdemeanor and can result in $2,000 in fines and or 6-months imprisonment

  • Burning of wildlands with criminal negligence is a Class-2 Misdemeanor and can result in $750 in fines and or 4-months imprisonment.

  • Burning of wildlands intentionally or knowingly is a Class-6 Felony that can result in $150,000 in fines and or 1-year imprisonment. 

  • Burning of wildlands intentionally or knowingly and the person's conduct places another person in danger of death or serious bodily injury or places any building or occupied structure of another person at risk of damage is a Class-3 Felony and can result in $150,000 and or 3.5 years imprisonment.


A person found guilty may also be subject to liability for suppression costs, resource rehabilitation costs, property damage costs, and should there be injuries or fatalities additional criminal charges. 

For more information visit FireRestirctions.us.


How to Help Our Enforcement Agencies

I think we can agree that increased enforcement would reduce the number of illegal campfires, but our enforcement agencies are understaffed, so what can we do to help our community?

  1. Be observant. Watch for smoke and fire; notify authorities of what you see and where. 

  2. Lookout for abandoned campfires and be prepared to put them out WHEN IT IS SAFE to do so. NEVER approach spreading wildfire. 

  3. Observe vehicles and people from a distance; get license plate numbers. 

NEVER approach people doing illegal things in the forest.  We are looking for information, not confrontation.



Finally, remember to sign up for emergency notifications with Coconino County Code RED. You will receive pre-evacuation or mandatory evacuation notices as soon as they are available! Go to www.coconino.az.gov/ready or call 928-679-8311 to get signed up today!


When you live in the forest, it's not a question of IF A WILDFIRE will burn in your area, but WHEN!

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