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Fire Risk Forces Forest Closures In Coconino And Gila Counties

Due to extreme fire risk, state-owned and managed lands in Coconino and Gila counties will be closed until further notice.

Starting Wednesday, land south of the Grand Canyon in Coconino and all lands in Gila county will join Navajo and Apache counties in stage three fire restrictions. Seven other Arizona counties are in stage two restrictions, which also affect recreation activities like camping, off-roading and hunting.

“Closures are not something we ever want to do or that we take lightly. But, unfortunately, the time comes when we must look at that option, have discussions, and make the decision based on what’s best to assure the safety of our residents and our firefighters,” State Forester Jeff Whitney said in a statement. 

Claire Caulfield was a reporter and Morning Edition producer from 2015 to 2019.