Temporary road and trail closure in the Santa Rita Mountains - Tucson News Now

Temporary road and trail closure in the Santa Rita Mountains

NOGALES, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Coronado National Forest, Nogales Ranger District, has temporarily closed National Forest Service Road (NFSR) 62 at the entrance to Box Canyon, easterly to the junction with NFSR 229, continuing southwesterly to NFSR 165 and on to the Melendrez Pass Communication Site in the Santa Rita Mountains.

On the Arizona National Scenic Trail, the closure includes the segment from NFSR 4110 northward to NFSR 4072. Also included are Cave Creek, Sawmill, and Florida Canyon trails.

The temporary closure is in place to provide for public safety and to limit traffic while fire suppression activities are underway on the Sawmill Fire. The roads are expected to reopen May 8, 2017, but may open at an earlier date, depending on the success of firefighting efforts.

The Sawmill Fire, located 10 miles southeast of Green Valley and north of Madera Canyon, is burning on lands under the jurisdiction of the Coronado National Forest and the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management. 

Gusty winds and broken topography have contributed to growth of the fire, burning in tall grass, riparian woodland, mesquite/oak brush, oak woodland, and pinyon-juniper fuel types. Values at risk include homes, ranches and outbuildings, communications facilities, powerlines, and the Arizona National Scenic Trail.

The strategy for the incident is full suppression. Resources assigned include five hotshot crews (Aravaipa, Blue Ridge, Globe, Payson, Prescott), four hand crews from the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, 20 fire engines, five air tankers, three helicopters, and miscellaneous overhead. 

For more information on the road closure, please contact the Nogales Ranger District located at 303 Old Tucson Rd, Nogales, Arizona.  The office can be reached by phone by calling (520) 281-2296. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information on the Sawmill Fire, please contact Fire Information Officer John Cambra at (480) 826-7005.

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Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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