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Residents should stop using Moonset Pit to dump garbage and natural, woody debris until the area reopens this spring, Kaibab National Forest authorities said.
The pit, which is located on National Forest land west of Parks, is open on specific dates every spring, summer and fall for community members to dispose of natural, woody materials that could fuel a wildfire on their property.
The material in the pit is then burned each winter. Adding debris on top of the smoldering ashes is a fire hazard and has resulted in the pile reigniting in previous years, according to Kaibab National Forest spokeswoman Jacqueline Banks.
Moonset Pit is a service offered to the public by the Kaibab National Forest and the communities of Parks and Sherwood Forest Estates, in coordination with the Rural Communities Fuels Management Partnership.
The pit is staffed and open to the public on specific dates only. At all other times, dumping materials into the pit is illegal.
"Over the last three years, we have had to respond to fires in the pit because of people illegally dumping on top of the burned pile," said Dave Bales, assistant fire management officer for the Williams Ranger District. "The pit will reopen to the public in the spring. Until then, nobody should be using the pit to dispose of materials."
The Kaibab National Forest will release the 2013 Moonset Pit schedule sometime this spring.
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