MOUNT GRAHAM – Two small lightning-caused fires burning on Mount Graham are beneficial to the mountain’s ecosystem.
That’s the word from United States Department of Agriculture Coronado National Forest Public Affairs Officer Heidi Schewel.
The Stowe Fire and the Stowe 2 Fire both ignited Wednesday and are within a quarter-mile of each other, according to Schewel. As of Thursday, the Stowe Fire, near Stowe Canyon, was roughly one to two acres in size and the Stowe 2 Fire, near Nuttalls Canyon, was about six to 10 acres. The fires are being monitored by the USDA Forest Service Safford Ranger District and both received precipitation from an isolated thunderstorm Thursday afternoon.
“If they keep burning, we’re going to manage them for natural resource benefits to do their job as they should have been doing,” Schewel said. “Fire clears excess vegetation and returns nutrients to the soil.”
At last report Thursday, there was still some smoke but no flames on the perimeter of either fire.