Tonto National Forest officials will lift the Griffin Fire public safety closure order at 8 a.m., Friday, Nov. 20, 2020.
The closure order was implemented to protect public health and safety. Following the fire, Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams conducted assessments to identify impacts on the landscape from both fires and recommended actions for mitigation and management of the burned areas to protect the health and safety of forest visitors and to prevent additional resource damage. The BAER team final report recommended emergency response actions that include the installation of warning signs and repair of fire impacted infrastructure.
“The forest made this decision after BAER team mitigation measures were implemented and the period of intense thunderstorms has since passed,” said Acting Forest Supervisor Tom Torres of the Tonto National Forest. “Over 300,000 acres of the Tonto burned this past year and we are trying to lift these fire safety closure orders as quickly as we can without compromising safety.”
The Forest Service BAER program provides guidance in the aftermath of a catastrophic wildfire with the goal of safeguarding forest visitors and employees, and protecting Federal property, water quality, and critical natural or cultural resources from further damage after the fire has been extinguished.
The Griffin Fire started on August 17 and grew to almost 62,000 acres, burning on the Tonto National Forest and the San Carlos Indian Reservation approximately 16 miles north of Globe, Arizona.
This year firefighters battled approximately 156 wildfires on the Tonto National Forest that burned over 300,000 acres. Nationally, nearly nine out of ten wildfires are human-caused. With no rain in sight, high fire danger continues on the Tonto National Forest. Information about preventing human-caused wildfires is available on the Smokey Bear website.
Visit the Tonto National Forest website for the latest news and alerts: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/tonto/home.