Forest Service will thin 5,000 acres to protect Rim Country, Arizona

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
March 7, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ARIZONA — Salt River Project is lining up partners for three major thinning projects to protect Payson and other Rim Country communities from wildfire. The three projects will cost almost $4 million and reduce the wildfire threat on nearly 5,000 acres, including a huge swath south of Payson. Last Tuesday, the Gila County Board of Supervisors agreed to kick in $5,000 for the 2,229-acre thinning project along Highway 87 south of Payson. The frequent fire starts along Highway 87, the prevailing summer winds and the brush-choked slopes make this area the most likely path for a megafire to burn up to and through Payson, Carl Melford said. …The U.S. Forest Service, with the help of partners like the Salt River Project, has accelerated efforts to create thinned buffer zones around endangered communities like Payson. 

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