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Thursday, July 1, 2010

SCHULTZ FIRE UPDATE

SCHULTZ FIRE IMPACT ON HIKING TRAILS JUNE 2010 UPDATE FOR COCONINO NATIONAL FOREST: Schultz Fire Closure Area Reduced Date: July 14, 2010 Contact: Coconino Supervisor's Office - 928-527-3600 Flagstaff, AZ —The Coconino National Forest is reducing the size of the emergency fire closure around the Schultz Fire area to allow more recreational access to areas that have been deemed safe. Though the new closure order is currently in effect, Forest Service personnel are in the process of repositioning the closure signs according to the new boundaries through today and should be finished by tomorrow. One of the greatest safety concerns within the fire area is the hazard of dead trees falling over, which will be a safety issue for a long time. In addition, because of the severity of the burn and lack of vegetation, loose rocks are rolling down the hillside posing a safety concern. The following trails and roads fall under the new reduced closure area: Schultz Pass Road (FR 420, from Schultz Pass to the north) Lockett Meadow Road (FR 552) Waterline Road (FR 146) Elden Springs Road (FR 556) Little Bear Trail Little Elden Trail Deer Hill Trail Inner Basin Trail Lockett Meadow Campground and Little Elden Springs Horse Camp Fire closures are implemented as standard fire operations procedure for public safety and firefighter safety. This modified closure to public access is in force until September 15, 2010 or later if necessary. The Closure Order and map is at http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino/nepa/forest-orders/04-10-06-f.pdf. The U.S. Forest Service is still seeking information concerning the person or persons responsible for causing the Schultz Fire. To date, no arrests have been made in connection with the Schultz Fire. The Forest Service is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. The Schultz fire was caused by a campfire that was abandoned without being properly extinguished in the area of Schultz Tank, Little Elden Trail, and Forest Road 420. Please call the Schultz Fire Investigations hotline at (928) 527-3508 if you have any information. Fully contained as of June 30th, this 23-square-mile, human-caused blaze took out some great trails in Flagstaff's Dry Lake Hills area. However, many others were spared and plans are already in the works to re-vegetate the burned area before erosion takes its toll. Here's the run down on what trails are open and which are closed: OPEN AS OF JULY 1, 2010: • Elden Lookout Trail • Fatmans Loop • Sandy Seep • Humphreys Peak • Kachina Trail • Christmas Tree Trail • Brookbank Trail • Pipeline Trail • Upper and Lower Oldham Trails • Rocky Ridge Trail • Schultz Creek Trail • all of Fort Valley Trail system CLOSED INDEFINITELY: • Freidlein Prairie Road • Schultz Pass Road • Elden Lookout Road • Little Bear Trail • Weatherford Trail • Inner Basin Trail • Waterline Road-Tunnel Road • Sunset Trail (from Brookbank junction to Schultz Creek Trail) • Little Elden Trail (from Heart Trail junction to Sunset Trail) I'll be posting photos from our 2009 hikes in this area soon.

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