As monsoon season comes to an end and the Forest Service has conducted clean-up operations, some roads affected by flash flooding are reopening in the Mangum Fire area. The following roads are now fully open but remain subject to closure for public safety during periods of inclement weather:
- Forest Road 22 – open from US Route 89A to State Route 67
- Forest Road 461 – open from Forest Road 22 to Jacob Lake area
- Forest Road 462 – open from Forest Road 461 to Demotte area
The following roads in the Mangum Fire area remain closed due to flash flood damage:
- Forest Road 422A is washed out and impassable at Jacob Canyon
- Forest Road 423 at Forest Road 22
Forest engineers are considering options to repair and reopen these roads safely for the public.
Areas heavily affected by fire, especially in and near steep terrain, are susceptible to flooding and washing out during intense rainfall. The loss of trees and other vegetation in burned areas leads to an increased chance of flooding and debris flows which can pose a significant risk to human life. Visitors should exercise extreme caution while traveling in the burn area.
Floods on fire-scarred areas can contain soil, vegetation and woody debris, and rock that rush down canyon sides, naturally funneling into stream channels, capturing additional material in their paths, and form thick, fan-shaped deposits at canyon mouths and open areas.
Those planning to visit open areas of the forest should check the weather forecast frequently, as conditions can change in a very short timeframe. Be aware that short intense bursts of rain may be particularly dangerous. If you observe movement of soil, debris, or flooding, move to higher ground immediately. If you hear sounds such as trees cracking, or boulders knocking together, move to higher ground immediately. Be especially alert while driving. Embankments along roadsides are susceptible to landslides.
Current conditions can be obtained by contacting the North Kaibab Ranger District at 928-660-3913 or checking the Kaibab National Forest website, www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab. Additional forest information is also available through Twitter www.twitter.com/KaibabNF, Facebook www.facebook.com/KaibabNF, and Flickr bit.ly/KaibabNFPhotos.