We continue to hear and see concern about the Wallow Fire area and what is access situation for the area. Arizona Game and Fish department has provided another great update with maps. Remember this area has had a lot of damage so use caution as you move through the area.
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Arizona Game and Fish Department Update:
Here is some updated information (posted Aug. 15, 2011) for hunters and other outdoor recreationists regarding public access to areas within the Wallow Fire burn perimeter, including a Frequently Asked Questions section (below) and a link to an updated map.
Arizona Game and Fish Department (Department) personnel in Region I have been coordinating with Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (Forest) staff to finalize the Forest’s decisions related to public access to those areas within the Wallow Fire burn perimeter. With fall hunting seasons rapidly approaching, this is a process of significant priority for the Department.
The following information encompasses the key elements and framework the Forest has announced and will utilize in opening the area of the Forest (those portions of Game Management Units 1 and 27) impacted by the Wallow Fire. In reviewing this information, please be advised of the following key points:
Many areas within the Wallow Fire perimeter continue to present significant public safety hazards, primarily associated with dead (falling) trees and flash flood impacts. The amount and level of public access provided is largely dictated by these public safety concerns and liabilities.
A prerequisite to reopening the Forest within the Wallow Fire burn perimeter has been clearing and preparing designated, priority roadways for safe public travel. Roads are being evaluated in an ongoing process for consideration of opening, with open roads for motorized travel being designated with white arrows. Roads and trails not having white arrows are closed to all motorized travel. As a result, vehicular access will be limited to white-arrow roads for a certain time, but foot and nonmotorized access will be available to all areas that are not designated as closed by the Forest.
Forest users are responsible for their own safety and are encouraged to use caution as they utilize their Forest, and to do so in a responsible manner to ensure the protection of life, property and natural resources. Be aware of your surroundings – “Look up, look down and look around.”