PRESCOTT, AZ – June 25, 2021— Due to fire danger, dry conditions, and persistent wildfire activity during a time when firefighting resources are scarce, the entirety of the Prescott National Forest will close for public safety, beginning Friday (June 25) at 8 a.m.
A full forest closure means that the public is prohibited from entering any part of the Prescott National Forest at any time. Those with private inholdings will be allowed access to their property, as well as personnel providing critical utility support and firefighters performing official duties.
Forest Service personnel will attempt to reach as many people as possible to begin vacating campsites and informing individuals who are currently camping in the forest. Campers and visitors should have vacated their site prior to 8:00 a.m. today; anyone still visiting the forest should leave immediate to comply with the closure. The public should stay abreast of current closure information and potential changes by checking our webpage or by following us on Facebook and Twitter (links below).
All National Forest System lands, roads, and trails within the exterior boundaries of the Prescott National Forest, as shown on the attached maps atExhibits A & B.
The entire Forest is closed, exceptfor the following areas and roads:
· Lynx Lake – Road access to Lynx Lake remains open. Access to day-use recreation facilitieson the North Shore of Lynx lake will be open through Forest Road 611. Forest Road 611 will remain open between County Road 57 (Walker Road) and North Shore day-use recreationfacilities. Forest Road 623 will remain open between County Road 57 (Walker Road) and South Shore day-use recreation facilities. FS Trail – 311, which circumnavigates the LynxLake allowing access to the shoreline, will remain open. FS Trail 311 is directly accessible from North Shoreand South Shore day-usefacilities.
· Granite Basin Lake –Forest Road 374 will remain open from County Road 10 (Iron Springs Road to Granite Basin Lake. Road 374 provides direct access to day-use picnic areas and boat launch. Access to theshoreline around the lakewill remain open forrecreation.
· Goldwater Lake – Forest Road 9713E will remain open from County Road 56 (Senator Highway). Forest Road 9713E provides direct public access to City of Prescott parking recreation facilities on the east side of Goldwater Lake. The majority of Goldwater Lake is on City of Prescott property, and access to parts of Goldwater Lake on City of Prescott lands is not restricted by this order. The section of Upper Goldwater Lake that is located on Forest Servicelands is the southwestern quarter of the lake. Public hiking access to the lake will be permitted to the shorelineof parts of the lake where itintersects Forest Service lands.
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. In short, this closure will continue until conditions are such that the closure can be lifted.
The violation of closures and fire restrictions 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.