Coconino National Forest Thinning, Burning Project OK'd To Protect Reservoir

Published: Monday, August 6, 2018 - 8:53am
Updated: Monday, August 6, 2018 - 9:49am
Andrew Bernier/KJZZ
Coconino National Forest.

A newly authorized project calls for forest thinning and prescribed fires to protect watersheds that feed a reservoir serving the city of Payson in east-central Arizona.

Coconino National Forest officials recently announced the 100-square-mile project. They say the work around C.C. Cragin Reservoir will help protect the water source, wildlife habitat and infrastructure from severe fire, erosion and flooding.

Severe fire creates heat that scorches soil, causing precipitation to flow across the ground rather than be absorbed by it.

The plan calls for a combination of mechanical and hand thinning with prescribed burns over several years.

Officials say the work could begin as early as this fall.

If you like this story, Donate Now!

Like Arizona Science Desk on Facebook