SAFFORD, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Frye Fire burned 48,443 acres in the Pinaleño Mountains during the months of June and July of this year. As protective vegetation was consumed, the landscape became more vulnerable to flooding. Plant canopies, branches and ground litter protect soil surfaces from the impacts of rain, and root systems hold soil in place. When vegetative cover is lost, exposed surfaces become more prone to soil movement and flooding. Additionally, following wildfire, floodwaters can pick up debris including loose soil, rocks, logs and trees, creating torrents and debris flows which can occur without warning.
Flooding and debris flows are occurring on Swift Trail (State Highway 366), damaging natural resources and the roadway, leaving some areas impassable.
Due to current and potential flooding concerns, the Swift Trail is closed above Ladybug Saddle. The following recreation areas are closed:
- Columbine Corrals and Visitor Center
- Cunningham Campground
- Hospital Flat Campground
- Riggs Lake Campground
- Shannon Campground
- Soldier Creek Campground
- Southwest Bible Camp
- Snow Flat Campground
- Treasure Park Campground
- Twilight Campground
Below Ladybug Saddle, the following recreation areas are open:
- Noon Creek Day-use Picnic Area
- Round the Mountain Campground
- Stockton Pass Campground
Upper and Lower Arcadia campgrounds will reopen for public use on Monday, July 24.
Visitors are reminded that during monsoon season, flash flooding can occur quickly and without warning in canyons, washes and other low-lying areas. Rain need not be falling in an area for flash flooding to occur. Rain falling upstream will flow down through canyons and washes and may cause flash flooding miles downstream. Recreationists should "know before you go" and check weather forecasts for the areas they plan to visit. Situational awareness should consider the weather environment, and upstream storms should be cause for avoidance of canyons, washes and low-lying areas.
For more information on the Safford Recreation area click here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coronado/recarea/?recid=25310#