Posts Tagged ‘wildfires’

Slide (sigh!) Fire Update

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

So Oak Creek Canyon north of Slide Rock State Park is essentially on fire. This includes the West Fork of Oak Creek, and the famous and popular hiking trail that follows it.

Wilson Mountain and even Sterling Pass are not within the known fire boundaries, which starts just north of Slide Rock State park, and continues north up the canyon. At this writing, though, local particulate levels are listed as “Unhealthy”, AZ89A is closed, and very likely any local parking within hiking distance will be monopolized by service vehicles.

The press release says:

The Slide Fire, reported just before 4 pm May 20, is burning in Oak Creek Canyon just north of Slide Rock State Park. Closures include Highway 89A from Sedona to Fort Tuthill in Flagstaff and Forest Road 535 off Highway 89A. Power has been shut off by APS from Slide Rock, north through the canyon.   An approximate 2 to 3-mile stretch of area from Slide Rock State Park north toward the Sterling Springs Hatchery has been evacuated, as well as the East Pocket Forest Service Lookout Tower. Evacuees are being relocated to Sinagua Middle School in Flagstaff.

Photo from the US Forest Sevice

The InciWeb site can provide updates better than I can:


West Fork was chock full of gorgeous foliage of all kinds, but also of deadwood and dry brush. It will be decades before it becomes anywhere near the kind of scenery it was five days ago.




Tonto News Roundup June 2009

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Summer’s here – because the forest is on fire:

Summary: The Pioneer Fire started on Saturday, and is burning on East Mountain, approximately 7 miles south of Globe, Arizona.  Burnout operations were conducted last night.  Aerial resources will be assisting ground crews today in holding the line at Forest Service Road 112 near Pioneer Pass.  Smoke is expected to be visible around the East Mountain area for next 5 days.  The public is asked to please use caution on Hwy. 77 because of fire equipment and fire traffic.

This is not far from the Pinal Mountains (see last post). You can keep track of the progress here.

Presciently, the Globe area is scheduled for some prescribed burns this summer (though the big, unprescibed burn going on right now may modify their plans).

“The purpose of these prescribed fires is to reduce the hazardous fuels in these areas and lower the chances of catastrophic fire, which could burn onto private land and endanger valuable electronic sites and private property. The prescribed fires will also help promote a healthier forest and watershed,” said Rick Reitz, Globe District ranger.

In the Phoenix area? Got free time? Here’s the Arizona Game and Fish Online Calender. AZG&F is, of course, a statewide operation, and the calender does have events all over the state, but, basically, the bulk of them happen around Phoenix.

Try to follow this: Towards the end of the Clinton administration, a ruling came down declaring a moratorium on new road construction in the National Forests. Towards the end of the Bush administration, this ban was overturned. Did that lead to a frenzy in two-track road construction? No. Iy led to a flurry of legal action.

So the Obama administration, late last month, declared a moratorium on lifting the moratorium. This is from the Department of Agriculture’s press release:

The U.S. Forest Service, with jurisdiction over the National Forests and Grasslands, makes decisions about what projects can take place on those lands. In simultaneously upholding and overturning the 2001 Clinton roadless rule, the courts have created confusion and made it difficult for the U.S. Forest Service to do its job. The directive will ensure that USDA can carefully consider activities in these inventoried roadless areas while long term roadless policy is developed and relevant court cases move forward.

In related news, the adminstration has also released stimulus funds to -ah – build forest roads.

So, well, good luck with that.