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As wildfire danger looms, Arizona forest lands start closing

Posted at 5:05 PM, May 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-18 20:07:12-04

Tourists and the Arizona mountain towns that rely on them won't have access to parts of some national forests this summer as authorities attempt to prevent wildfires during a critically dangerous time.

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests announced Wednesday that some areas will be closed to the public, although officials haven't yet decided which ones.

That's after the Kaibab National Forest on May 11 announced the closure of about 23.4 square miles centered on Bill Williams Mountain near Williams.

That closure is intended to protect the watershed for Williams, a city that's a jumping-off point for visitors to Grand Canyon National Park.

Campfire bans and other restrictions are in effect on national forests across Arizona and neighboring New Mexico.

Both states are stricken by drought.