Closures of parts of Arizona forests begin Wednesday

Posted at 8:22 AM, May 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-23 15:02:12-04

Closures that will temporarily keep the public out of big parts of Arizona's national forests take effect Wednesday.

Dangerous wildfire conditions are prompting closures of those areas, which include numerous campgrounds and other recreation sites, as well as portions of other national forests in Arizona.

Meanwhile, stringent fire restrictions are in effect in many forests areas not currently closed.

Coconino National Forest closures include the San Francisco Peaks and three other areas near Flagstaff and two other areas elsewhere.

Tonto National Forest closures include a large area north of Payson and below the Mogollon Rim.  The forest also is closing an area east of State Route 87, north of the Salt River and west of Roosevelt Lake and State Route 188.

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests officials say four areas in the two jointly-administered forests in eastern Arizona are now closed to the public because of elevated wildfire conditions.

Officials say the areas closed Wednesday include Promontory Butte in the Black Mesa Ranger District, an area south of State Route 260 in the Black Mesa and Lakeside ranger districts, an area called Pole Knoll in the Springerville Ranger District and an area southwest of Nutrioso and Alpine in the Alpine Ranger District.

Some Kaibab forest areas are also closed.