BAER

Location: Safford Ranger District, Coronado National Forest

The Frye Fire Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) work on Mt. Graham is continuing with progress in many areas.  Over the last week a crew from the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management camped at Riggs Flat Campground and completed a seven-day work project. Their work included clearing road culverts along most of the burned area road system, clearing floatable debris from stream channels near critical road crossings, and removal of hazard trees. 

Work on the Frye Fire Burned Area Response (BAER) continues at the Wet Canyon area along the Swift Trail (Highway 366).  Road crew personnel and equipment from Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and the Coronado National Forest have been working at this site for four days removing logs and other woody debris from the Wet Canyon stream channel in an effort to keep storm flows from damaging the critical highway bridge structure at this location. 

This past weekend road crews from the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and the Coronado National Forest worked together to remove debris from the Wet Canyon Recreation Site on the Swift Trail (State Highway 366). This past week several heavy storms moved a significant amount of woody debris and rock down Wet Canyon, effectively blocking flow under a historic CCC bridge and threatening the structure of the main road bridge. By Sunday evening enough debris had been removed to return the water flow to the original channel under the old bridge.

Over the past week the Frye Fire area has received a significant amount of rain. Several storms have left rainfall totals of two inches or more at the Arizona Department of Water Resource rain gauges at Heliograph Peak, and Pinaleno Park.  These flows have produced movement of rock and debris in stream channels along the Swift Trail (Highway 366) which have washed over the roadway and damaged highway fill slopes in several locations.

Location: Safford Ranger District, Coronado National Forest

The Coronado National Forest has received funding to implement the Burned Area Emergency Response plan submitted for the Frye Fire. This plan includes funding for aerial seeding of 1023 acres of the fire which burned at the high severity level. Also approved were projects to clear drainage channels of debris, provide road stabilization, and protection and safety measures for roads, trails, and developed sites within the fire area.

The Burned Area Emergency Response Team (BAER) has completed a soil burn severity map of the Frye Fire.  Based on their analysis 1,917 acres received a rating of “High” burn severity, 5,318 acres were “Moderate” burn severity, and 31,447 acres received a rating of “Low” severity.  These ratings reflect the level of impact that the fire had on soil cover and vegetation and are used to project the impact on associated watersheds. 

Fire operations are winding down on the Cedar Fire. Most of the fire resources have been released. The Type 3 IC (incident commander) is being supported by local resources. Recent rain and predicted monsoon are reducing fire activity. Fire crews continue to patrol the fire perimeter. Internal areas of unburned fuel may continue to smolder and produce light smoke.

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