JUNE 26, 2013

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests place temporary safety closure for Rodeo-Chediski, Show Low South, Timber Mesa and Promontory Butte areas

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SPRINGERVILLE – The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (ASNFs) has implemented a temporary safety closure in the areas of the 2002 Rodeo/Chediski fire, Show Low South - Timber Mesa/Porter Mountain. The temporary closure will provide for public and fire fighter safety and to protect private property. The closure order 01-13-549 www.fs.usda.gov/asnf (implemented at 12:01 a.m. on June 19) will remain in effect until July 31, 2013.

Rodeo-Chediski fire area:
The Rodeo-Chediski fire area consisted of severe, moderate to light burning on the landscape of the western portion of the Lakeside Ranger District and the eastern portion of the Black Mesa Ranger District.  Since that time grass and down and dead rotting pine trees have become the major fuel bed.  Conditions are now conducive to a fast moving wildland fire occurring in the area, which is a Wildland Urban Interface.

Show Low, Linden, Pinedale, Clay Springs areas:

The area South of Show Low, Linden, Pinedale, Clay Springs, and adjacent to the Rodeo-Chediski burned area is also at risk of a severe wildland fire moving into a highly populated Wildland Urban Interface Area. The interface area will be closed south of Arizona State Hwy 260, - and more specifically described as follows:

Western boundary being Forest Road (FR) 139 starting at the junction of Arizona State Highway 260 and Forest Road 139 traveling south to FR 141 and FR 139 Junction, then traveling west to Forest Road 300 and FR 141 junction, then due west to Fort Apache Indian Reservation.

Southern boundary is the boundary of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation from the junction of FR 300 and FR 141 junction west to Reservation boundary, then traveling east along Reservation boundary to private land boundary 2 ¾  miles east of U.S. Highway 60.

Eastern boundary is private/forest land boundary on western edge of Wagon Wheel area.

Northern boundary is alongside the southern edge of Arizona State Highway 260 (private land access allowed within this closure).

Timber Mesa area:
The Timber Mesa area has several miles of motorized and non-motorized trails, which are heavily used this time of year. Since it has been several decades from past vegetative thinning and fuel reduction treatments, Timber Mesa and Porter Mountain’s fuel conditions could lead to a very destructive fire in the area. Also centered in the closure area is the communications site at the top of Porter Mountain.

Timber Mesa Hazardous Fire Conditions Closure Area:
Western Boundary is alongside the eastern edge of Penrod Road, starting at the intersection of Porter Mountain Road and Penrod traveling northwesterly along the Penrod Road to the intersection of U.S. Highway 60.

Northern Boundary is alongside the southern edge of U.S. Highway 60 starting at the intersection of Penrod Road and U.S. Highway 60 traveling easterly to old Apache Railway Right of Way at Bell Siding.

Eastern boundary is the old Apache Railway right of way located in the middle of Woolhouse Quite Area starting at the intersection of U.S. Highway 60.

Southern Boundary is alongside the northern edge of County Road 45 (Porter Mountain Road) traveling westerly on the Porter Mountain Road to the intersection of Penrod Road.

Excluded areas:  Porter Mountain Cinder Pit and access road, Flume Mountain Cinder Pit and private landowner access and private land.

Stage II fire restrictions and this area closure will remain in place until lands within Apache and Navajo Counties receive significant precipitation.

Promontory Butte area:
Forest Service officials temporarily closed Promontory Butte recreation area on the Black Mesa Ranger until July 31. The temporary order could be lifted sooner, dependent upon monsoonal rainfall levels, which will reduce the wildfire risk in this area.  

All National Forest System lands, roads, and trails within the boundaries described below and as further depicted on the attached by map.

North Closure Boundary: Originating at the junction of National Forest System Road (NFSR) #300 and NFSR #76, traveling in a westerly direction along NFSR #300 to the intersection with NFSR #9302.

West and South Closure Boundary: From the intersection of NFSR #300 and NFSR #9302, traveling in a southwesterly direction along NFSR #9302 to the intersection with the proclaimed Forest Boundary (located within Section 36, Township 12 North, Range 12 East, and G&SRM).
From said intersection traveling in a western direction along the proclaimed Forest Boundary, to an identified point nearest to the junction with NFSR #300 and NFSR #76.

East Closure Boundary: From an identified point along the proclaimed Forest Boundary nearest to the junction of #300 and NFSR #76 traveling due north on an identified line to the intersection of NFSR #300 and NFSR #76.

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