Forest restoration work to begin northeast of Flagstaff

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Timberline Wupatki Trails Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project to bolster community wildfire defense 

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., May 31, 2024 — A new fuels reduction project, slated to begin next week, will work to protect communities northeast of Flagstaff from future catastrophic wildfire while restoring forest land to a healthier condition. 

The Coconino National Forest’s Flagstaff Ranger District (FRD) will begin work on the Timberline Wupatki Trails Hazardous Fuels Reduction project Monday. 

“We’re looking forward to adding another layer of risk reduction to the Timberline and Wupatki Trails communities by proactively taking this initiative,” said District Ranger Matt McGrath. “This project is just one small part of our overall commitment to Wildfire Crisis Strategy work.” 

As part of the Forest Service’s 10-year Wildfire Crisis Strategy, the Coconino National Forest is undertaking a variety of projects to increase the scale and pace of forest health treatments – such as mechanical thinning and prescribed fire – over the next decade.  

These projects will address wildfire risks to critical infrastructure, protect communities and make all three districts of the Coconino National Forest healthier and more resilient. 

As part of the Timberline Wupatki Trails project, crews will work to remove fire-damaged vegetation, including dead and dying trees, on national forest land located within the project area.  

The removal of this vegetation will provide a fuel break that will protect nearby infrastructure and allow for safer wildland fire operations in the future.  

Crews will use a variety of equipment – including hand tools, chainsaws and heavy machinery – to fell, limb and skid trees. Felled trees will be transported to landing sites in the area, and logs will be processed into firewood. 

While a majority of the firewood produced from the project will be delivered to nearby Tribes as part of the Wood for Life program, some firewood will be made available for public use. Permits and stipulations for future wood collection are available on the Coconino National Forest’s website

Area residents can expect increased traffic – including log trucks and other heavy machinery – in the area once operations begin. East Campbell Avenue, Brandis Way and East Lenox Road are anticipated to be major thoroughfares for trucking operations. 

Heavy equipment will be working adjacent to private land in the project area, and nearby residents and visitors are asked to remain cognizant of operations and to avoid workers and equipment as a matter of safety. 

The FRD will work with partners, such as Dakota Logging and the National Forest Foundation, to conduct the restoration work, which is expected to be completed in early 2025. 

Timberline Wupatki Trails Project Map