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Is Hiking Allowed In Sedona During The Fires?

Sheri Sperry June 26, 2021

Full Closure In Effect For Coconino National Forest

From My Perspective…

Fires… Currently, there are 43,612 acres that have burned in the fires and there is 0% containment.  Sycamore Canyon has been evacuated.  This is about 14 miles northeast of Cottonwood.  ATVs are not allowed to be rented right now.  Rafting and kayaking down the Verde River are still allowed but tours are filling up fast. 

 

Around the state of Arizona, there are at least 24 fires burning.  We are in our driest season.  Hopefully, we will see more rain next week. 

 

At my home…

 

Early in the morning when the air is cool, the smoke is heavy and it is difficult to see the red rocks.  As the day warms up, the smoke rises, and a lot of it is pushed out of the area. You can smell the wood burning inside and outside the home. It is as if you are burning very fragrant wood in your fireplace. 

 

Many people come to Sedona to hike. Currently, all of our forests are completely closed.  There are police cars located at the entrance to the most popular trails.  One of those trails is where I live in Soldiers Pass.

 

If you are coming to Sedona to hike, there are no options to hike. These restrictions are in effect until further notice. All businesses are open.  The Sedona Airport is seeing heavy lift (CH 54) helicopters filing huge buckets of water to drop on the fires.  

See the violation enforcement below.

 

Air tanker dropping retardant on Rafael Fire - image courtesy of Sedona Fire Facebook page.

 

The notice below came directly from an email I received from the City of Sedona. The top two images are from The Sedona Fire Dept FaceBook page.

 

 

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., June 21, 2021 — Due to fire danger, dry conditions, and persistent wildfire activity during a time when firefighting resources are sparse, the entirety of Coconino National Forest will close for public safety, beginning Wednesday (June 23) at 8 a.m.

 

A full forest closure means that the public is prohibited from entering any part of Coconino National Forest at any time. Only those with private inholdings will be allowed access to their property, as well as personnel providing utility support where necessary, and firefighters performing their duties.

 

Forest Service personnel will attempt to reach as many people as possible to begin vacating campsites and informing individuals who are camping in the forest currently. Campers and visitors to the national forest should vacate their campsites before the closure begins, and the public should cancel any plans for visiting the Coconino National Forest for the next several weeks.

 

Though parts of the national forest may receive rain from sporadic storms over the next couple of weeks, this closure will not be rescinded until sufficient precipitation is received to adequately reduce the risk of wildfire, and hot, dry weather conditions are no longer forecast to continue. In short, this closure will continue until conditions are such that the closure can be lifted.

 

Work on thinning and other forest and watershed restoration projects will cease. Partner agencies, organizations, concessionaires, outfitters, permit holders, and contractors, are all prohibited from entering the national forest.

 

Violating closures and fire restrictions is a violation that carries a mandatory appearance in federal court, punishable as a Class B misdemeanor with a fine of up to $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or up to six months in prison, or both.

 

This image below was taken at the top of the Airport looking directly toward West Sedona to add some perspective to the feature image. This is looking north and the feature image was taken toward the west.

CodeRED – Emergency Notifications

Yavapai County

Coconino County

City of Sedona


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