Location: Safford Ranger District, Coronado National Forest
The Frye Fire Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) project received additional funding on August 15, 2017 to continue stabilizing the lands damaged by the 48,302 acre Frye wildfire. Funding will continue project work already being accomplished and include some additional items that were funded through the recent allocation.
One new project involves the use of anti-aggregation pheromone treatments in unburned habitat for the Mt. Graham Red Squirrel (MGRS). The squirrel habitat is comprised of pure stands of Douglas-fir and spruce fir mix. The objective of this project is to reduce the additional loss of high elevation Douglas-fir. There is a high probability for a post fire response from bark beetles, especially Douglas-fir beetles that could result in degrading the remaining habitat for the MGRS, and reducing their survivorship. A treatment using capsules containing the anti-aggregation pheromone MCH will be used to repel beetles from uninfested trees. This process has been used with success in the past on the Safford Ranger District.
The additional allocation include funding for monitoring of noxious weeds that may have been accidently introduced to the fire area through fire suppression efforts. Weed monitoring will begin in early fall of 2017 and continue through the late spring and early summer of 2018. The location of any weeds found during the monitoring process will be mapped and the plants treated to prevent their establishment in the Mt Graham area.
Funding is also included to continue the road treatment work already underway within the fire area. Efforts to stabilize drainage channels associated with roadways remain a major treatment emphasis. To reduce flooding impacts, “trash racks” will be placed in areas where debris flow could be a potential problem. “Trash racks” are a metal grid similar to a cattle guard which will be placed across stream channels to filter out rocks and debris from high water flows. An Arizona State Forestry Crew from Fort Grant will begin work this week clearing drainage channels of floatable debris, and helping to clear drainage culverts.
Highway 366, the Swift Trail, continues to remain closed at Ladybug Saddle. The closure will remain in effect until the dangers to public entry into the fire area are reduced or eliminated. Recreation sites below Ladybug Saddle remain open, including Arcadia Campground, and Noon Creek and Round the Mountain Picnic areas.
Closures: The majority of the Frye Fire area remains closed to public. Detailed information regarding this closure may be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd552786.pdf
For additional updates please see the Coronado National Forest Facebook page at http://facebook.com/CoronadoNF .