Paddy's River prescribed fire updates

May 6, 2017 - 4:52 pm

▪ Safford Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest
▪ Graham County, Arizona
▪ Galiuro Mountains

The Safford Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest has been conducting Phase 2 of the Paddy’s River Prescribed Fire this week. The project area consists of National Forest System lands in the eastern portion of the Galiuro Mountains in southeastern Arizona, and is included in the Coronado’s Galiuro FireScape Project.

The project boundaries lie between High Creek on the south and Paddy’s River on the north. The project area contains the Paddy’s River drainage, Black Canyon, Wood Canyon, and High Creek including both wilderness and non-wilderness land in rugged terrain.

Approximately 4,000 acres have been burned during this phase. Vegetation includes semi-desert grassland, mesquite, cat claw, oak, juniper, cypress, and mixed conifers such as ponderosa pine, apache pine and Douglas Fir between the elevations of 4,500 feet to 7,549 feet above sea level.
Resources currently assigned consist of 2 Hot Shot crews, 2 Helicopters, 3 Engines and Air attack (intermittently).

High south, southeast winds pushed the fire through previous black lines yesterday but the fire is still within the boundaries of the project area. Increased personnel and equipment are in place to keep fire in check and to meet resources objectives.

Current winds are out of the southwest and the weather conditions for the next few days look favorable for aiding and securing the fire to achieve objectives.

Paddy’s River Prescribed Fire Resource Objectives:
1. Improve overall ecosystem conditions to benefit wildlife habitat, range, and watershed outside of the wilderness and reduction of unnatural buildup of fuels in the wilderness which minimizes opportunities to manage natural fire and reduce the risk for fire to threaten values at risk within and adjacent to the wilderness.

2. The long-term objective of this action is to restore historic native vegetation conditions so that naturally occurring, low-intensity fire will prevail.

3. Reduce threats to firefighter and public safety as well as reduce costs and resource damage, from future wildfires, by maintaining fuel conditions for low risk of extreme fire behavior and high intensity fire.

An area closure will be in effect as this phase of the burn is conducted.

Smoke will be visible periodically from Sulphur Springs Valley and Bonita, Wilcox, Benson, San Manuel, Klondyke and surrounding areas throughout the duration of the project. Following active burning, smoke may be visible for days to weeks resulting from hot areas within the interior of the burn area.
This work is being done as part of a larger project covering 14,000 acres. Phase 1 of the burn was completed in March, and treated the western portions of the burn unit. Burning on the larger unit may occur sporadically through July 15, 2017, as conditions become favorable.

For further information please contact the Safford Ranger District Office at (928) 428-4150 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The office is closed weekends and federal holidays.