• Arizona
  • Thursday , Feb 1 , 2018

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San Tan Valley Area Information

2 minutes reading time (344 words)

Strategic Fuels Reduction Work Begins in Pinal County

wildfire

The Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management begins a month-long, 113-acre hazardous fuels reduction project, northeast of Apache Junction, near the Goldfield Ghost Town.

Lost Dutchman is a fuels reduction project designed to reduce wildfire risk, increase the safety of nearby homes, and protect infrastructure and other values at risk. The project also aims to improve wildlife habitat, promote the health of native vegetation, and remove invasive species. Work includes, thinning of dense vegetation, removal of ladder fuels, and implementing fuel breaks on State and Bureau of Land Management lands. Fuel breaks are designed and instrumental in helping slow or stop the progression of a wildfire encroaching upon values at risk. 'This project is a perfect example of cross-boundary collaboration between the Department of Forestry and Fire Management and the Bureau of Land Management that through hazardous fuel mitigation will reduce wildfire threat to communities and enhance plant and wildlife species of concern. Our foresters and fire managers have developed a thoughtful and comprehensive plan that addresses multiple natural resource concerns, and once implemented, will benefit numerous local, state, and federal assets,' said DFFM Assistant State Forester for Forestry Programs John Richardson. 

Nearby values at risk include, homes in the Wildland Urban Interface, the City of Apache Junction, Pinal County Open Space and infrastructure, the Goldfield Ghost Town, and Lost Dutchman State Park. Other values at risk include utility infrastructure, historical and cultural relics, tribal artifacts, and native plant and wildlife species, such as saguaro cacti and desert tortoise. 

'The Lost Dutchman project is exactly the kind of project that is envisioned in Governor Ducey's Healthy Forest Initiative. Partnering with other agencies to improve forest health and reduce wildfire risk allows us to have successes we might not otherwise have, and will benefit all Arizonans for generations to come,' said DFFM Director David Tenney. 

Fire managers and on-the-ground foresters, with guidance from the Arizona Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal, or AZWRAP, identify and develop fuels reduction projects, such as this one. The current risk level associated with this project is very high to extreme.
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