The Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project is a major forest-thinning initiative set to begin in 2015. It’s designed to safeguard vulnerable areas near Flagstaff against wildfire and mitigate some of its most destructive after effects. In 2012, Flagstaff voters approved $10 million for the project and now the Forest Service has proposed four options for possible treatments, including cable logging, something never before done in the area. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius recently spoke with the project’s manager, Erin Phelps, and asked, “What exactly is cable logging?”
A monsoon storm rolls into the Dry Lake Hills north of Flagstaff. The popular local hiking and mountain biking area will likely be the location of a heavy forest thinning project over the next several years.
The public comment period for a major forest-thinning project in the Flagstaff area will end Mon, Aug. 18. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the project could involve heavy thinning in some of Flagstaff’s most picturesque areas.
Coconino National Forest officials are actively managing four lightning-caused fires. All are burning at a low intensity on the forest floor. As on the Kaibab National Forest, these fires are being used to increase safety, reduce fuels and for vegetation and wildlife habitat restoration.
The 300-acre Willard Fire is burning south of Flagstaff between Oak Creek Canyon and I-17 near the Willard Springs Interchange. Smoke may be visible from Kachina Village, Mountainaire, Munds Park and Sedona.
The San Juan Fire burning southeast of Show Low is now 70 percent contained and 6,975 acres in size. Crews are conducting mop-up and rehabilitation efforts in the burn area.
At t 8 a.m. this morning, the evacuation order for Red Cabin Ranch, Whiting Homestead and Carlock Ranch was lifted along with the pre-evacuation order for Greens Peak Hideaway and Hidden Meadows.
There are currently 624 personnel on scene including four hotshot crews and two helicopters. A partial closure of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests remains in effect.
The fire was human caused and is under investigation.
Update, Wed, July 2, 8 a.m.:
The San Juan Fire is now 15 percent contained and 6,975 acres in size. The blaze's increase in size is mostly due to burnout operations. In total, 679 personnel are fighting the fire. Crews have also begun conducting rehabilitation work on the burn area.
A public meeting will be held at the Vernon Fire Station Wednesday night at 6 p.m.
Update, Tue, July 1, 9 a.m.:
The San Juan Fire burning 18 miles southeast of Show Low is now 6,400 acres and 5 percent contained. It is burning on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests and the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.
Mandatory evacuations remain in effect for Red Cabin Ranch, Whiting Homestead and Carlock Ranch. Pre-evacuation notices have been given to Greens Peak Hideaway and the Hidden Meadows Ranch. The fire's burn area has been closed to the public and road blocks are in place.
A total of 683 personnel are on scene. Overnight operations were successful in removing fuel between constructed fire lines. Crews are conducting burnout operations on the west side of the fire, and overnight operations expanded the fire by about 700 acres. Fire growth in the coming days will likely be as a result of the burnouts. Mop-up operations are being conducted on the north and east sides of the fire.
Heavy smoke as a result of the fire has been present in low-lying areas. The fire was human caused and is under investigation. For updates on the San Juan Fire, see 311info.net.
Update, Mon, June 30, 7:30 a.m.:
The San Juan Fire burning 18 miles southeast of Show Low is now at 5,700 acres and 5 percent containment. A total of 679 personnel are on scene. Successful burnout operations overnight removed fuel between constructed fire lines and the main body of the fire.
Travel on Highway 60 may be affected today due to settling smoke from last night's operations.
A public meeting will be held at the Vernon Fire Station at 6 p.m. Monday night with fire managers and representatives from the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the White Mountain Apache Tribe.
Mandatory evacuations remain in place for Red Cabin Ranch, Whiting Homestead and Carlock Ranch. Pre-evacuation notices have been given to Greens Peak Hideaway and Hidden Meadows Ranch. A closure is also in effect for the fire area in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests.
Officials say the San Juan Fire burning on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests in the White Mountains has forced evacuations of 30 homes in the Red Cabin Ranch and Whiting Homestead areas. According the 12 News, a dozen more homes are threatened and a pre-evacuation notice has been given for residents of Greens Peak Hideaway.
The Red Cross has set up a shelter for evacuees at Round Valley Middle School in Eagar at 126 W. 2nd St.
This week, the Coconino National Forest began an aggressive treatment of Oak Creek Canyon’s most severely burned areas from the Slide Fire. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, one part of that process is so-called heli-mulching.
According to officials with the Coconino National Forest, crews are responding to a small fire at the southeast base of Mt. Elden in Flagstaff. Currently, it's less than one acre in size and is burning north of the Flagstaff Ranger District office on Highway 89. Smoke will likely be noticeable from town. KNAU will report more information as it becomes available.
According to the Coconino National Forest, the Junipine Fire is 12 acres and 25 percent contained. It has been moving toward the Slide Fire burn area, but also south in an area that had not previously burned. About 60 to 70 personnel are on scene.
The fire was reported at 3:15 p.m. on Monday and its cause is thought to have been a downed power line, though that's not confirmed yet. Officials are cautiously optimistic that the fire will be contained by the end of the day Tuesday.
The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for Monday until 8 p.m. for virtually all of northern Arizona. Strong winds and low humidity are expected throughout the day and could create conditions highly prone to wildfire.