SAFFORD — The Bureau of Land Management’s Safford Field Office and Gila District Fire Management Office will conduct a multiple day prescribed burn in the Aravaipa Canyon area between March and June, pending appropriate weather and seasonal conditions.
The South Rim Burn will cover approximately 15,726 acres of BLM and private land in the Aravaipa Canyon Ecosystem Management Area, located 50 miles west of Safford. Fire crews may be in the area as early as next week to black line and prepare the burn area boundaries ahead of the burn. The BLM will announce specific dates in advance of the operation.
Prescribed fires are intended to mimic natural fire frequency and intensity. They improve the health of the land by stimulating growth of desirable grasses, reducing invasive plants and managing fuel loads so that natural fires are less destructive. Large prescribed burns have been conducted in the Aravaipa Canyon Ecosystem Management Area since 1998. The burn is being coordinated with the Arizona Game and Fish Department and The Nature Conservancy Aravaipa Canyon Preserve.
The Aravaipa Canyon Ecosystem Management Area contains 69,000 acres of desert grasslands and permanently flowing waterways under the stewardship of the BLM and The Nature Conservancy. The organizations work together to conserve and enhance the ecosystems in the area while providing recreation opportunities such as hunting, hiking and horseback riding. The area is located in Pinal and Graham counties.
“The Aravaipa Canyon has some impressive natural values, and these fire treatments are part of a long-term combined effort to conserve the area,” said Safford Field Office Manager Scott Cooke.
Aravaipa Canyon area roads listed below will be closed from 6 p.m. the day before each burn to 6 a.m. the day after each burn is completed.
Specific road closures:
• Turkey Creek from the confluence of Aravaipa Canyon to the conjunction with the Rug Road.
• Rug Road from the conjunction with Turkey Creek to the conjunction with Dry Camp Canyon.
Fire crews will monitor the burned area during and after all prescribed burns. Prescribed burn information will be available the day of the burn at the Safford Field Office.
For more information contact Public Affairs Specialist June Lowery at 520-258-7223.