Broadcast prescribed burn planned for Safford Ranger District

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SAFFORD — Starting Feb. 7, and running through Feb. 28, the Safford Ranger District, Coronado National Forest, plans to perform a prescribed broadcast burn operation.

Broadcast burning is a form of prescribed burning activity where fire is applied generally to most or all of an area within well-defined boundaries for reduction of fuel hazard, as a resource management treatment, or both.

The Rockhouse 2 project area consists of National Forest System lands in the southeast portion of the Galiuro Mountains in southeastern Arizona, and is included in the Coronado’s Galiuro FireScape Project.

The project boundaries lie between Redfield Canyon on the west, the Forest Boundary on the east and south end, and Bassett Peak on the north end. The western portion of the burn unit will be a second entry to the Rockhouse project area that was performed in 2016. Eastern portions of the burn were not included in the original Rockhouse burn and will be the first entry point.

We expect to treat approximately 6,000 acres depending on weather conditions. Burning may continue for several days or be intermittent, with ignitions occurring as fuel and weather conditions become suitable during February.

Fire has played an important ecological role in the history of the grassland and woodland ecosystems of southeastern Arizona. Regular intervals of naturally occurring fire restricted the growth of shrubs in grasslands, thinned forests of fire-intolerant trees, increased stream flows, and renewed wildlife habitat. A decrease in the frequency of natural fire has resulted in areas of dense, overgrown vegetation and the accumulation of fuel available for wildfires.

The project is designed to reduce the accumulation of hazardous fuels, improve range and watershed conditions, improve wildlife habitat (including Bighorn Sheep), return the ecosystem to a more fire-resilient state, and reduce the likelihood of future high-intensity wildfires within the project area. By reducing the probability of extreme fire behavior in future wildland fires, the intent is to subsequently reduce threats to firefighters, increase public safety, as well as reduce costs and resource damage due to fires. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

Smoke will be visible periodically from Sulphur Springs Valley and Bonita, Willcox, Benson, San Manuel, Oracle, Klondyke, and the surrounding areas for the duration of the project.

Temporary road and trail closures will go into effect as prescribed fire activities progress. Closure orders will be posted as appropriate.

For any additional questions feel free to contact the Coronado National Forest at For the most current updates about the Coronado National Forest, please follow us on Facebook at and Twitter at