Rockhouse Prescribed Burn Causes Temporary Forest Closure

March 9, 2016 - 2:54 pm

The Safford Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest is currently working on a prescribed fire in the Rockhouse area of the Galiuro Mountain range.

The full burn area encompasses approximately 19,000 acres.  Over three hundred acres of blacklining have been completed to date on both the northeast and southeast corners of the burn. Additional burning is expected to take place Thursday through the weekend. 

Smoke may be present in the Bonita area, and may be visible from Safford. As weather patterns change, more blacklining and interior treatment should occur throughout the month of March. 

An area closure is in effect and forest users are discouraged from entering the area. The closed area begins on the southern end of the Galiuro mountain range at the Forest boundary at Forest Road (FR) 660 and follows the forest boundary south, west to FR 691, west from FR 691 along the Forest boundary to Redfield Canyon, north along Redfield Canyon to the confluence of Negro Canyon and Redfield Canyon, along Negro Canyon to Trail 287, east from the wilderness boundary, south along the Wilderness Boundary to FR 660 in Ash Creek, along FR 660 east to the point of beginning at the Forest boundary, as illustrated on the attached map.

This area is located in T10S, R20 and 21E, and T11S, R20 and 21E, and includes forest roads 660, 659, 691, and forest trails, or portions of trails 289 between Jackson and Hooker Cabins, 286, and 287.

In summary, Forest visitors are discouraged from venturing south of Ash Creek, south of Bassett Peak and from Jackson Cabin to Hooker Cabin. Forest Road 659 is not closed, but the northern portion is closed to camping. Ash Creek Trail will be closed. Heavy smoke may be present in the area.

Objectives include:

  • Reintroduce fire into the ecosystem to improve the vegetative composition, condition, and resiliency of this project area.
  • Reduce the threats to firefighter and public safety as well as reduce costs and resource damage, from future wildland fires.
  • Create condition to allow for managing naturally occurring fires in the future to restore and sustain ecological processes in fire-dependent ecosystems.
  • Create and maintain fuel conditions for low risk of extreme fire behavior and high-intensity wildland fires.