Team: Future storms threaten Slide Fire burn area - Tucson News Now

Team: Future storms threaten Slide Fire burn area

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Slide Fire in Arizona's Oak Creek Canyon Slide Fire in Arizona's Oak Creek Canyon
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

A special assessment team is recommending swift action to prevent more damage from future storms in the Slide Fire burn area.

The team surveyed the area to determine if emergency watershed conditions exist from the 21,227-acre Slide Fire on the Coconino National Forest.   

Treatments have already begun. They include extracting three culverts and cleaning inlets and outlets and flushing 10 culverts - all on FSR 231. Other treatments include installing about 20 miles of road drainage structures in moderate to high burn severity areas, installing warning signs, testing a burned historical cabin for asbestos and acquiring barricades for use at potential access points.  

The team presented a request for additional emergency treatments to the Coconino National Forest supervisor and staff this week, who forwarded it to the Forest Service Regional Office for review, approval and funding.

The team requested an additional $80,500 in funding to protect cultural sites within Oak Creek Canyon with defensive measures, closing an AB Young Trail segment to public to protect human life and safety, installing a closure, monitoring with storm patrols as needed and coordinating the approval and support to County and Emergency Services for Early Warning System precipitation stations.

Burned Area Emergency Response team released some statistics in the wake of the Slide Fire. Of the 21,227 total acres burned:

  • 1,293 acres (6 percent) were unburned.
  • 10,415 acres (48 percent) burned at low severity.
  • 7,067 acres (32 percent) burned at moderate severity.
  • 3,115 acres (14 percent) burned at high severity.

The human-caused Slide Fire started on May 20 in Oak Creek Canyon just north of Slide Rock State Park. It cost $10.1 million to battle the blaze.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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