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Coconino Finds 34 Abandoned Campfires In One Weekend

Courtesy of the National Park Service
Humans are the leading cause of wildfires in the U.S. Many people leave a campfire before it's out completely.

The Coconino National Forest will switch to Type II fire restriction mode starting June 22. Several factors went into the decision.

The 90 degree days combined with dry lightning make for prime fire starting conditions. But when you add humans to the mix, then forest officials lay down the law. Even though forest officials had prohibited campfires starting June 15, they found 34 abandoned campfires last weekend.

In addition to campfires, Type II restrictions prohibit stoves, smoking outside your car, fireworks, chainsaws, guns and just about anything that could spark a fire.

Even cars must remain on an open forest road. Visitors cannot drive over vegetation so finding a place to park a trailer may be challenging during the popular summer months. Those who decide to risk it face a $5,000 fine or up to six months in jail.

Laurel Morales was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2011 to 2020.