Tonto fire officials plan hazardous fuels reduction project

By Arizona Emergency Information Network
Government of Arizona
January 15, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A Tonto National Forest project will use machinery to “chew” or “grind” woody vegetation on 5,351 acres across two of the Tonto’s ranger districts beginning Jan. 17. Entitled the Payson/Pleasant Valley Maintenance Mastication project, the contracted work will take place over the next year near the towns of Mesa Del Caballo, Kohl’s Ranch, Christopher Creek, and Young in central Arizona. The project will reduce shrub and small juniper regrowth in previously treated areas, improving watersheds in Christopher, Tonto and Cherry Creeks, with the goal of lowering the risk of large-scale wildland fires. Additionally, burned watersheds are prone to increased flooding and erosion, which can negatively affect water-supply reservoirs, water quality, and drinking-water treatment processes.

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