The Coronado National Forest, Sierra Vista Ranger District, will conduct a fuels reduction project on the east side of the Huachuca Mountains beginning next month.
The project will be implemented in Ash Canyon near the Forest Service boundary along East Ash Canyon Road to the wilderness boundary. Work will also be done in Hunter Canyon near Highway 92 between Hunter Canyon Road and East Emory Oak Ridge.
The purpose of the project is to reduce standing dead fuels left behind as a result of the Monument Fire, thereby reducing the potential for future high-intensity wildfires on National Forest System lands. One of the results of the fire was the creation of several thousand acres of standing dead fuels in the Huachuca Mountains.
If left alone, the fuels have the potential to support high-intensity wildfire in the future. In addition to decreasing available fuel in the area, the project will create defensible space between the forest and adjacent private properties in the vicinity.
Residents living in the vicinity of the project area, and forest users should expect to see transport vehicles carrying crews to the project area.
Crews will use chainsaws to cut standing dead fuels and pile the cut fuelwood. Chainsaws may be heard from early morning to late afternoon until the project is complete.
Project activities are expected to begin in early July and continue through the latter part of August, with crews working weekly, Monday through Thursday. Area residents and forest users will not experience any road closures or access issues to National Forest System lands associated with the project.
Fuelwood will be stacked in multiple piles within the project area. Fuelwood permits to collect firewood, at no cost, will be made available to the pubic this October. Permits may be obtained at the Sierra Vista Ranger District Office located in Hereford.
Depending upon the availability of fire staff, excess fuelwood not collected may be burned at some point in the future, when conditions are favorable for success. The burning would continue while environmental conditions remain favorable or until all fuelwood is burned. Smoke would be visible but limited throughout the day. It would be most prevalent in the morning hours as work would cease midday to allow piles to be fully consumed by late afternoon. Minimal smoke may settle in low-lying areas during the evening hours in the immediate proximity.
For more information contact the Sierra Vista Ranger District at calling (520) 378-0311. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.