It’s one of those situations that could have had a far worse ending.
At 2:41 p.m. on Saturday, June 24, the Sedona Fire District and Sedona Police Department responded to a wildfire at Posse Grounds Park. Upon arrival, firefighters found a small brush fire about a quarter-acre in size.
“Fire crews were able to contain the fire very quickly due to the fact that the fire was bounded by the street on one side and the park on another,” SFD Fire Marshal Jon Davis said.
Firefighters were on scene for about an hour to completely overhaul and extinguish the fire. Damage was limited to some roadside brush. No injuries were reported.
SPD Lt. Jim Pott said a 29-year-old Sedona man was cited for reckless burning and released at the scene for causing the fire. The man told police there was a party consisting of friends and family. He was reportedly cleaning up and left his grill unattended. He noticed the fire and went to empty his cooler on the flames in an attempt to put it out.
Pott said there were more than 50 people there and the suspect was not sure who dumped the charcoal out. Everyone scattered and left the scene once the fire was out of control. The man said he decided to stay and call in the incident. He added that he was unaware of the countywide fire ban, Pott said.
As a reminder, Davis said the use of all public barbecues has been prohibited since June 1.
“The use of charcoal briquettes has also been banned since that time unless you are using them on private property,” Davis said. “The barbecue must be attended at all times with a tight-fitting lid, and the briquettes are completely extinguished by soaking in water after use. In any case, it is never acceptable to dispose of charcoal briquettes by dumping them on the ground.”