PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — The Prescott National Forest has become the fifth national forest in Arizona to close large areas to the public because of dangerous wildfire conditions.
Maps accompanying forest officials’ announcement Tuesday show the areas being closed beginning Friday generally are south and west of Prescott.
Forest spokeswoman Debbie Maneely says the closure totals 288 square miles, or about 15 percent of the entire forest.
Officials say they considered factors such as fire danger, vulnerability, things at risk and topography in making closure decisions.
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The Coconino, Kaibab and Tonto forests and the jointly administered Apache-Sitgreaves forests previously closed large areas of those forests because of wildfire conditions.
The Arizona Daily Sun reports that officials say most violators of partial closures in the Flagstaff area appear to be local residents, not out-of-town visitors.