Location: Safford Ranger District, Coronado National Forest
The Frye Fire Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) work on Mt. Graham is continuing with progress in many areas. Over the last week a crew from the Arizona Department of Forestry camped at Riggs Flat Campground and completed a seven day work project. Their work included clearing road culverts along most of the burned area road system, clearing floatable debris from stream channels near critical road crossings, and removal of hazard trees.
The crew also dug post holes for three gates that were placed in Treasure Park, and Snow Flat Campground. Several of the post holes were in solid rock which required the use of a rotary drill similar to a jack hammer to create the necessary depth for the gate posts. The gate locations are on forest system roads which lead into areas heavily damage by the fire. Access to these areas is not safe due to the potential of falling burned trees.
In the past week over 450 tons of road base material has been transported from Safford to sites along the Swift Trail (Highway 366) where it will be used to create rolling dips on forest roadways. These structures are designed to take water flowing along the inside edge of a road and route the water flow across the road to where it can drain to the outside edge. A significant amount of roadwork has also been completed along the road to the Bible Camp in the Columbine area. Due to heavy debris flows this road had become impassible and required significant effort to return the road to a drivable state.
A plan was also completed this week for the use of MCH pheromone to treat 300 acres of Douglas-fir and spruce fir vegetation which is critical to the survival of the endangered Mt. Graham Red Squirrel (MGRS). The project will occur in the spring of 2018 with the placement of 6000 pheromone capsules in trees throughout the planning area.
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 .