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Monday, April 14, 2014

Midgley Bridge trailhead temporarily closed

Midgley Bridge spans Oak Creek
UPDATE 4-30-14: closure has been extended from May 2 to May 9, 2014.
If you're planning a hike on Sedona's Wilson Canyon/South Wilson Mountain trails in the next couple of weeks, you won't be able to use the "Midgley Bridgely" trailhead on AZ89A near milepost 376.  That's because it's being temporarily closed for improvements that will include (finally) an accessible toilet. (Yup, I can hear you cheering). A fenced enclosure will prohibit public access during construction.  North Wilson trail can still be accessed at the Encinoso picnic area farther up the road near milepost 379.
For more information, contact the Red Rock Ranger District, Coconino National Forest, at 928-203-2900.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fisher Fire closes some Flagstaff trails

UPDATE: April 14 9:00 a.m.: Fire is 75% contained and mop up operations are beginning. The forest service will not be issuing further updates, so you may need to call the ranger for closure info.
Hikers---please avoid the trails around Flagstaff's Fisher Point (Sandy's Canyon, Fay Canyon, Skunk Canyon The Pit, Arizona Trail) until further notice
Fisher Point
NEWS RELEASE                 
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
U.S. Forest Service
Coconino National Forest <>                                <> <>

For Immediate Release
April 13, 2014
Public Affairs Contact:
Heather Noel, (Acting) Public Affairs Officer, 928-527-3490

Fisher Fire – 8:00 a.m. update

Flagstaff, Ariz. – The Fisher Fire, reported at 3:00 p.m. on April 11th, is located near Fisher Point in Walnut Canyon approx. five miles southeast of Flagstaff in the vicinity of the Fisher Fire from last year.

The fire remains at 175 acres and is 50% contained.  Today, crews will grid and mop up as topography and fuel conditions allow.  Terrain is steep with rolling rocks and snags.  No growth was reported on the fire and all lines held.  No structures are threatened.

Today, temperatures today could reach 71 degrees with winds becoming westerly and increasing in strength with possible 45 mph gusts this afternoon; the relative humidity is forecast between 10-15%.   The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for today in effect from noon to 8:00 p.m. MST due to strong winds and a low relative humidity.

The public should remain aware of area closures around the vicinity of the fire which include some of the trail system.  Reducing the risk to firefighters and the public is our first priority in every fire management activity.

Local, state, tribal, and Federal agencies support one another with wildfire response, including engagement in collaborative planning and the decision-making processes that take into account all lands and recognize the interdependence and statutory responsibilities among jurisdictions.

DATE OF DETECTION:  April 11, 2014
CAUSE:  Confirmed human-caused, specific cause undetermined; investigation ongoing.
CURRENT SIZE:  175 acres
LOCATION:  Fisher Point area, Flagstaff
AGENCY:  USDA Forest Service
RESOURCES:  7 Hotshot Crews, 3 Type Two Crews, 2 dozers, 5 water tenders, 1 lead plane, 1 Air Attack, 1Type 1 and 1 Type 3 helicopter, 10 engines, and numerous fire personnel.





Heather M. Noel
Public Affairs Officer (Acting)
U.S. Forest Service, Coconino National Forest
1824 S. Thompson St., Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Office (928) 527-3490  Cell (406) 370-7370 <>


Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest

Willow Springs Canyon

Popular with hikers, bikers and anglers alike, the trails around Willow Springs Lake provide both access to the water and miles of pine-shaded solitude on the Mogollon Rim. For many outdoor enthusiasts, a trip around 7.6-mile Bike Loop #534 serves as an inaugural exposure to the area.  This trek begins on that trail, but then drops into the canyon behind the dam at the north end of the lake. From the Horse Trap trailhead, hike 0.2 mile to the first signed junction, head right and continue to a fork.  Here, the bike trail veers right while an old road heads left toward the lake.  We went left and   hiked to the dam on the fisherman trails along the water's edge, however, the bike trail will get you there as well in about the same distance. Once at the dam, make an easy scramble down into Willow Springs Canyon and trek north following the creek.  The way is clear and easy for 1.5 miles, winding through alpine meadows and protected wildlife habitat.  Be sure to keep an eye out for the osprey nests teetering on the tops of dead pines.  The canyon narrows gradually, transforming the hike from a sunny stroll to a bushwhack through a quagmire of deadfall and boulder-choked channels. Determined hikers who are prepared for a challenging journey can continue upstream to where the stream meets Chevelon Canyon 3.5-miles north of the dam. Otherwise, for an easy trek, just turn back when the going gets messy.
Easy hiking for about 1.5 miles

LENGTH: 7.6 miles (easy) 10.70 miles (to Chevelon Canyon)
RATING: easy or difficult
ELEVATION: 7635’ – 7300’ (7040’)
From the AZ87/260 junction in Payson, go 31 miles east on AZ260 to the Horse Trap trailhead on the right between mileposts 284 and 285.

Entering the quagmire

Nesting osprey
INFO: Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest