Work on the Frye Fire Burned Area Response (BAER) continues at the Wet Canyon area along the Swift Trail (Highway 366). Road crew personnel and equipment from Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and the Coronado National Forest have been working at this site for four days removing logs and other woody debris from the Wet Canyon stream channel in an effort to keep storm flows from damaging the critical highway bridge structure at this location.
The threat of continued monsoon storm activity over the Frye Fire area has prompted the Arizona Department of Transportation to close State Route 366 at Round the Mountain Picnic Area due to safety concerns associated with flash floods and debris flows caused by monsoon storms and the Frye Fire. Their notice of highway closure may be found at https://www.azdot.gov/media/News/news-release/2017/07/31/swift-trail-parkway-on-mount-graham-closed-after-frye-fire.
The BAER aerial seeding contract has been awarded to treat the heavily burned areas of the Frye Fire. The seed that will be applied to the fire area will be non-persistent barley which will provide protection to the soil surface and reduce the potential for soil movement. This barley product is grown in fields that are certified as weed free. Further checks are made by the product distributer to assure seed viability and content of other seed products. It is anticipated that the seed application process will take about two days depending on weather conditions.
BAER project work will also include the placement of three gates at various locations to close areas that are not safe for public travel. These gates will be placed in locations of high and moderate burn severity with poor road conditions and hazard trees created from the fire. Hazard warning signs will be posted on the Swift Trail warning visitors that they are entering a burned area and hazards may be encountered. Warning signs will also be placed at trailheads and developed sites.
Road work will also begin on forest system roads within the fire area to protect and minimize damage. Work will include installing drainage features capable of withstanding the potential for increased overland rock and debris flow.
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 .