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Camping And Campfires Banned In Forests Near Flagstaff

Forest service officials in Flagstaff have expanded a ban on camping and campfires in the Coconino National Forest.

Forest service spokesman George Jozens says this ban is in response to an uptick in homeless encampments and unattended campfires in the forests surrounding Flagstaff.

"Those people who may be homeless or decided that maybe they prefer to live in their car in the forest, versus a house, this is going to take care of a lot of that closer to town," Jozens said. "Some of those areas that got trashed by people who live there for a month at a time, they’re encompassed in these areas."

Jozens says previous bans in the Mount Elden area reduced human-caused wildfires by close to 90%.

Scott Bourque was a reporter and podcast producer at KJZZ from 2019 to 2022.