It’s snowed in the White Mountains.
It’s rained in Payson.
Fall leaves are piled on the ground.
But brace yourself: The fire season is back.
The condition of the fuels resembles mid June rather than mid-autumn, say fire officials, setting records for this time of year across northern Arizona.
Every national forest in the state has also reimposed stage 1 fire restrictions, with the weather forecast calling for a return of unseasonably warm, dry conditions after a cold, winter-like storm dropped rain and snow over much of the region.
The restrictions bar campfires and a host of activities, including operating certain tools, target shooting, fire crackers and smoking in most outdoor areas. The restrictions are just one step short of closing the forests to visitors. Campfires and charcoal fires in developed campgrounds and picnic areas are allowed, but only in Forest Service rings and barbecues.