Is Hiking Allowed In Sedona During The Fires?

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Realty NRDS # 146013739

Full Closure In Effect For Coconino National Forest

From My Perspective...

Currently, there are 43,612 acres that have burned 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 fire.  

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.  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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Comments (32)

Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Michael Jacobs - I think it was a very smart move to close all the national forests.  It is a shame that it is finally a time when families and others can get out and take vacations and enjoy outside activities such as camping and hiking.

Jun 26, 2021 08:09 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Jeff Dowler, CRS - When we started seeing fires in Arizona, I immediately thought of California and hoped that this didn't happen in your area.  I lived near foothills most of my years in CA and this was always a worry.  Good thoughts going your way. 

Jun 26, 2021 08:12 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi AndreaBFerreira CRS - SRS - CLHMS - I am so glad you saw this also.  

 

Jun 26, 2021 08:18 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Kathy Streib - Thank you for the kind words.  We are OK.  I did see some ash on my car today.  This morning the smell of smoke did not permeate the air. We live in the only Firewise Certified community in Sedona. In fact, I had a tree service out on Thursday trimming and thining our trees and removing brush. This was planned weeks ago! 

Jun 26, 2021 08:25 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint - Right back at you.  Like me, I am sure you have concerns for fire crews and their safety as well as being spread too thin. 

Jun 26, 2021 08:27 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Myrl Jeffcoat - Sitting around a campfire is a great description.  The smoke and the smell are not so bad today.  I hope your area does not have to go through this again anytime soon. 

Jun 26, 2021 08:29 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi James Dray - The Flagstaff area did get some rain yesterday, but the state is expected to be rain-free until Tuesday.  The whole state should see a full monsoon flow next week.  

Jun 26, 2021 08:33 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Nina Hollander, Broker - I have seen and felt them all - up close and personal!  Fortunately, I have never lost a home.  In AZ, the main concerns are lack of rain and forest fire. In Houston, it was hurricanes and possible tornadoes.  In California, it was fire, mudslides, earthquakes, and devastating compressed wind reaching 80 MPH coming off the high desert and mountains, called Santa Ana, Diablo, or Devil Winds.

Jun 26, 2021 08:53 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® hi Sheri... one reason I picked Charlotte as a place to move to was precisely because we don't have much risk of earthquakes, mudslide, forest fires, hurricanes, etc.! In any case, please stay safe.

Jun 26, 2021 10:32 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Kat Palmiotti - During the monsoon, we get warm moist air coming off Baja MX and the Gulf.  Next week there is a Cat 1 storm in the Baja area that will send moisture up into AZ.  ...and hopefully lots of rain!  The forests will remain closed until we get enough rain to open them up. 

Jun 26, 2021 08:57 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Brian England - Right now, not many tourists may realize what is going on with the closures.  Once the word really gets out to all, this probably will stop.  We get hundreds walking down Soldiers Pass every day going to the trailhead. 

Jun 26, 2021 09:02 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Rocky Dickerson - Thank you,

We are safe right now.  Unfortunately, we never know where lightning will strike and create a fire. We have done what we can do by clearing our property. 

Jun 26, 2021 09:04 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Sheri,

We understand, and we are hoping for no fires this season.   As we drove by the forest this morning, Smoky the Bear was indicating that the chances for fire were high..On the plus side our weather remains on the cool side...A

Jun 26, 2021 10:07 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Sheri, scary times for you and hopefully this will be rectified by mother nature, since humans don't seem to handle it well. I never understood why places like California & Arizona do not believe like the European Countries about forest management.... prevents a lot grief and fires. Endre

Jun 26, 2021 03:23 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Ron and Alexandra Seigel - We will keep our fingers crossed for California. No Fires!

Jun 26, 2021 04:05 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Endre Barath, Jr. - I have seen thinning of trees in my area heading up to Flagstaff but I can't speak for the entire state. Lightning strikes are our biggest problem.  

Jun 26, 2021 04:13 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.

what a shame it was clearly a good idea... is this what we call 'progress'?

Jun 28, 2021 12:18 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Sheri, not making light of the problem, yes I understand that Lightenings do add to the mix.... if you do not clean up the  forest needless to say makes it a bigger problem... and I am worried and concerned not just for you area but California as well... I had a friend visit from Ireland about well let's say at least five or more years ago and we took them to Muir Woods.... and he was shocked to see the lack of forest management... and indeed if a lightning would have struck it would have been a bigger problem, Endre

Jun 26, 2021 10:38 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Endre Barath, Jr. - When I was a young teenager you could see the tremendous fire breaks up, down, and accross the San Gabriel Mountains.  They are not visible anymore in this century. 

Jun 28, 2021 12:14 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Sheri & Rick, it is WAY too early to be this dry already, and so sad to see how many fires are in the Southwest.  Stay safe, and pray for rain.

Jun 29, 2021 06:29 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

I hope the fires are under control.

Keep cool, stay safe and have a great day.

Jun 29, 2021 08:00 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Sheri & Rick, hoping you have less fires in your area.  We are experiencing a very wet next few days.  It POURED yesterday, and sounds like that will be the weather for the next week or so.

Jul 31, 2021 07:19 AM