Friday, August 24, 2012

Some recreation sites at Sycamore Creek no longer restricted

Sycamore Creek area:  lifting of some popular recreation area restrictions;
some restrictions still in place
Flooding as a result of Sunflower fire in May,
Tonto National Forest

PHOENIX (August 22, 2012) – The Sunflower Fire restriction order enacted July 30, which closed many popular recreation areas along Sycamore Creek, will terminate Wednesday, August 22.

Areas scheduled to reopen include:

  • Lower Sycamore – Forest Road 403
  • Sugarloaf – Forest Road 402
  • Mesquite Wash – Forest Road 160
  • Log Corral Canyon – Forest Road 3456
  • Round Valley  – Forest Road 1704
Restrictions remain in effect for areas within and immediately adjacent to the Sunflower Fire. 

“These restrictions are to provide for the public’s health and safety in the event of extensive flooding, stated Mesa District Ranger Gary Hanna.  In the burn area, there is little if any ground vegetation left to absorb and hold back rainwater. When heavy rain falls over burnt steep terrain, the water quickly rushes downhill carrying loose soils, ash, and debris.”

“Visitors recreating in these areas should still remain vigilant for possible flash floods, and not camp in areas that are subject to flooding,” warned Hanna.  “The monsoon season is not over yet.”

The Sunflower fire, which began in May, covers approximately 17,500 acres, which is the upper watershed for Sycamore Creek.  

Visitors are advised to check the forest webpage for annaouncements and closure orders or call ahead to the district before planning recreation events on the forest in order to avoid trespass into the closure area.

Forest officials continue to urge caution to visitors who encounter flooded roadways by reminding them of the the  Maricopa County Department of Transportation slogan, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown!”

For further information about forest conditions, see the forest website, call 602-225-5200, or contact the Mesa Ranger District administrative offices at 481-610-3300.

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