Thread: Arizona '05

  1. #26
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    Post July 19th

    TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - A successful burnout and heavy rains helped
    reduce the potential for the 22,500-acre Florida fire to threaten
    Madera Canyon, officials said Tuesday.
    Crews had burned fuels on the east side of Madera Canyon, where
    there are about 30 homes and cabins. The area also received up to
    an inch of rain Monday night.
    The rain "was really helpful in terms of the fire," said
    Jennifer Plyler, a spokeswoman for the team fighting the fire. "We
    have gone from suppression mode to rehabilitation mode."
    More than 600 firefighters on Tuesday began to restore roads
    that were used during the fire, prepare fire lines so they could
    avoid erosion from more rain and remove equipment from Madera
    Canyon and the mountains.
    Firefighters would be further reduced in the next two days as
    crews were expected to transition from an elite type-1 firefighting
    team to a type-3 team on Thursday.
    Burnout operations were put on hold Tuesday as fire officials
    assessed whether they were needed after the rain, Plyler said.
    The fire was 60 percent contained Tuesday. Full containment was
    expected by next week, said Bill Duemling, a spokesman for the team
    fighting the fire.
    Residents and employees evacuated from Madera Canyon and a major
    astronomical observatory on nearby Mount Hopkins last week.
    The fire was caused by lightning July 7.
    ---
    INDIAN HILLS FIRE
    TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - A 600-acre fire burning along the San Pedro
    River was 20 percent contained Tuesday, with full containment
    expected by Wednesday.
    "There's little projected movement expected unless you get a
    thunderstorm," said Judy Wood, a spokeswoman for the State Land
    Department.
    Firefighters continued to mop up the fire and use bulldozers to
    reinforce lines on the south end of the blaze Tuesday.
    The Indian Hills fire caused the evacuation of about 100
    residents living in about 30 trailer homes and other homes in
    Dudleyville on Sunday. Residents were allowed to return home
    Monday.
    The fire, which started Sunday, had also destroyed three homes
    and 10 other buildings. The cause was under investigation.
    ---
    PEACHVILLE FIRE
    SUPERIOR, Ariz. (AP) - A fire that was believed to have been
    started by lightning in the Tonto National Forest had grown to
    about 2,000 acres by Tuesday, a forest spokeswoman said.
    The Peachville fire was about three miles north of Superior,
    though forest spokeswoman Emily Garber said the winds were pushing
    the fire away from the town.
    "They're not out of it yet, but that is a hopeful sign,"
    Garber said.
    About 50 firefighters built lines and dropped retardant around
    the southern part of the fire to keep it away from both the town
    and a 115-kilovolt power line that serves Superior and Phoenix.
    Other fires burning in the Tonto National Forest include the
    11,000-acre Edge Complex fire, which is burning near the Beeline
    Highway 20 miles northeast of Mesa, and the Miles fire, which has
    burned 600 acres about 10 miles north of Superior.
    The fires were not imminently threatening any structures.
    ---
    PRESCOTT FOREST FIRES
    PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) - A wildfire that began as two-lightning
    sparked blazes in the Prescott National Forest had grown to about
    6,000 acres by Tuesday but was about 5 percent contained.
    Firefighters were working to keep the fire out of the pristine
    Cedar Bench Wilderness Area, said Debbie Maneely, a Prescott
    National Forest spokeswoman. "There's a lot of wildlife in there
    that they want to protect," she said.
    Firefighters also built defensible space around the historic
    Arnold Place cabin about a mile north of the blaze and a
    communications site three miles northeast of the fire.
    Crews also cleared debris and brush from around cabins and
    ranches in the area as a precaution, though no structures were
    threatened as of Tuesday, Maneely said.
    About 340 firefighters conducted burnout operations and built
    lines around the fire Tuesday, said Wendell Peacock, a spokesman
    for the team fighting the fire.

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  2. #27
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    Post July 20th

    PUNKIN CENTER, Ariz. (AP) - Firefighters built a bulldozer
    containment line Wednesday to protect communications towers on
    Mount Ord north of the Edge Complex fire in the Tonto National
    Forest.
    The dozer line also was intended to halt the northward growth of
    the lightning-caused fire, which was burning near the Beeline
    Highway 20 miles northeast of Mesa, forest spokeswoman Tammy Pike
    said.
    The fire - north of the Four Peaks Wilderness area and about 10
    miles east of Roosevelt Lake - burned in short grass and small
    trees and grew by Wednesday to 30,000 acres. It was 15 percent
    contained.
    The fire, about 1 miles from any structures, wasn't threatening
    any homes. No evacuations were planned, said Jim Whittington, fire
    information officer.
    The fire was expected to move into areas with less natural
    fuels.
    Meanwhile, firefighters also battled seven other blazes on the
    Tonto, including:
    - The Peachville fire, about four miles north of Superior, was
    at 1,800 acres, burning in chaparral and 5 percent contained, Pike
    said.
    Firefighters were using bulldozers to build containment lines on
    its western edge, and the blaze was producing smoke, but Superior
    was not threatened by the blaze, she said.
    - The 1,218-acre Oak fire was 80 percent contained, with full
    containment expected Thursday.
    ---
    FLORIDA FIRE
    TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Firefighters concentrated on cleaning up
    and rehabilitating landscape as the Florida fire wound down
    Wednesday south of Tucson.
    The blaze started July 7 by lightning and had forced evacuation
    of some 30 homes and cabins in Madera Canyon and an observatory on
    Mount Hopkins. It reached 23,183 acres in size but was 75 percent
    contained, with full containment expected by Thursday evening, fire
    spokeswoman Donna Nemeth said.
    Crews were being released, with all but 50 of 576 firefighter
    crews, support personnel and equipment being demobilized by
    nightfall Wednesday, Nemeth said.
    "The rains have helped significantly," Nemeth said. Up to an
    inch fell Monday night.
    The rainfall helped enable firefighters to begin rehabilitating
    and restoring roads used during the fire and to help avoid erosion
    once more rains come.
    Madera Canyon residents were escorted into their homes Wednesday
    for short assessment visits and will be allowed to move back into
    their homes Thursday, Nemeth said. The area will remain closed to
    the general public indefinitely, and the observatory closure
    remained in effect, she added.
    ---
    J. CANYON FIRE
    WICKENBURG, Ariz. (AP) - The J. Canyon fire 15 miles northeast
    of Wickenburg reached 5,310 acres in size, pushed east to the
    Hassayampa River by overnight winds and west to Round Mountain.
    The closest structures remained two miles east, within Cooper
    Ranch, as the fire burned in brush, pinon, juniper and grasses,
    Arizona State Land Department spokesman Judy Wood said.
    At one point on Tuesday, the fire was spreading at the rate of a
    mile an hour, Wood said.
    ---
    SH RANCH COMPLEX FIRE
    BAGDAD, Ariz. (AP) - The SH Ranch Complex fire, including 15
    separate lightning-caused blazes in chaparral and grassy fuels,
    encompassed 18,203 acres and continued moving west and east, but
    was stable on its north side.
    It remained 10 miles east of the nearest homes or structures, in
    Bagdad, said Judy Wood of the Arizona State Land Department.
    Fire officials "look at this in terms of being 48 hours away if
    it were to be left alone," she said, but added that it was
    "absolutely not" being left unchallenged. There was no
    containment on the fire but officials expected containment by 8
    p.m. Saturday, she said.
    ---
    INDIAN HILLS FIRE
    DUDLEYVILLE, Ariz. (AP) - A 600-acre fire along the San Pedro
    River that burned three mobile homes and 10 other structures and
    threatened others for a time has been contained, and all residents
    have returned to their homes, spokeswoman Judy Wood of the state
    Land Department said.
    ---
    BUTTE COMPLEX FIRE
    CAMP VERDE, Ariz. (AP) - Rains and winds were a mixed blessing
    for firefighters battling the Butte Complex fire burning in canyons
    and mesas 13 miles southwest of Camp Verde and east of Interstate
    17.
    "Rains really clobbered the north side of the fire, especially
    the roads access," fire spokesman Rick Hartigan said. While the
    rains dampened the blaze, strong winds made the work for
    firefighters more difficult, he said.
    The fire, about 7,500 acres in size, was 25 percent contained,
    burning in grass, chaparral, juniper and oak.
    A historic cabin was largely but not totally out of danger,
    while firefighters also made good progress on the northeast and
    northwest sides of the fire and added structural protection for a
    communications site on Squaw Peak at the north end of the Cedar
    Bench Wilderness.
    Containment was expected by Thursday evening, Hartigan said.

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  3. #28
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    Post July 21st

    PUNKIN CENTER, Ariz. (AP) - A 33,530-acre fire burning about 1
    1/2 mile west of here was 40 percent contained by Thursday,
    officials said.
    Fire officials were concerned about 40 homes and 20 other
    structures near Punkin Center, where firefighters built defensible
    space around these sites. However, there were no evacuations or
    road closures, and the Edge Complex fire was not imminently
    threatening any structures, said Tom Mott, a spokesman for the team
    fighting the fire.
    About 600 firefighters built lines with bulldozers and by hand
    on the east side of the fire Thursday to protect Punkin Center and
    the Tonto Basin area. Aircraft also dropped retardant over the
    blaze.
    Burnout operations were also conducted Wednesday to keep the
    blaze from Highway 87, said Tammy Pike, a spokeswoman for the Tonto
    National Forest.
    The fire was burning chaparral, grass and ponderosa pines in
    steep, rocky terrain, Mott said.
    Full containment was expected by Monday.
    ---
    FLORIDA FIRE
    TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Madera Canyon residents were allowed to
    return Thursday to the homes they fled because of a wildfire.
    The 23,183-acre Florida fire was 85 percent contained, with full
    containment expected Thursday night.
    Though residents were allowed to return to Madera Canyon, which
    has about 30 homes and lodges, the area remained closed to the
    public, said Donna Nemeth, a spokeswoman for the team fighting the
    fire. The Smithsonian Institution's Fred Lawrence Whipple
    Observatory on Mount Hopkins was also closed.
    About 400 firefighters monitored fire lines and did
    rehabilitation work Thursday.
    "There's very little activity," Nemeth said.
    The fire was started by lightning July 7.
    ---
    J. CANYON FIRE
    WICKENBURG, Ariz. (AP) - Firefighters built lines around a
    10,450-acre fire burning 15 miles northeast of here in the Bradshaw
    Mountains.
    The J. Canyon fire was 5 percent contained Thursday, said George
    Taylor, a spokesman for the team fighting the fire.
    The fire wasn't threatening any structures. The closest
    structures remained two miles east in Cooper Ranch, where there are
    several cattle ranches.
    The blaze had spread up to a rate of a mile per hour earlier in
    the week, but the fire has calmed down because of increased
    humidity, Taylor said.
    It was burning grass and brush on rugged terrain.
    ---
    SH RANCH COMPLEX FIRE
    BAGDAD, Ariz. (AP) - A wildfire burning 10 miles east of here
    grew to 22,000 acres Thursday and was 20 percent contained.
    Seventy-six firefighters built containment lines and put out hot
    spots on the SH Ranch Complex fire Thursday, said Stuart Bishop, a
    spokesman for the Arizona State Land Department.
    Firefighters have a "good handle on it," he said.
    Full containment was expected by Saturday.
    ---
    BUTTE COMPLEX FIRE
    CAMP VERDE, Ariz. (AP) - Firefighters worked to rehabilitate the
    area where a 7,700-acre wildfire has burned 13 miles southwest of
    here.
    The Butte Complex fire, which was 95 percent contained, was
    expected to be fully contained by Thursday night, said Wendell
    Peacock, a spokesman for the team fighting the fire.
    Firefighters patrolled fire lines and mopped up remaining hot
    spots Thursday.

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    Post July 22nd early update

    PUNKIN CENTER, Ariz. (AP) - About 150 homes have been evacuated
    in Sycamore Creek and near Punkin Center to facilitate burnout
    activities as firefighters continue to battle a 38,000-acre
    wildfire.
    Some homes in Sycamore Creek also were evacuated Thursday night
    due to a shift in winds, said Tonto National Forest spokeswoman
    Tammy Pike.
    The Edge Complex fire was still 40 percent contained but was
    burning as close as 2 miles southwest of Punkin Center.
    Pike did not immediately know how many Sycamore Creek homes were
    evacuated or how many people that involved.
    The fire crested Wednesday night on Edwards Peak and backed
    partially down the mountain Thursday, said Emily Garber, another
    fire spokeswoman.
    Firefighters resorted to asking for a voluntary evacuation from
    homes in the Walnut Springs subdivision south and west of Arizona
    188, when work on a containment line along the edge of the fire
    proved only partly successful.
    The fire was flanking the residential area. Residents were asked
    to depart to give firefighters more flexibility and ease of
    movement, Garber said.
    "They didn't particularly feel that the homes were threatened,
    but they wanted to make sure that they could get in there and get
    fire line burned out."
    The subdivision is about 25 miles south of Payson, where a
    shelter was opened at the Julie Randall Elementary School.
    About 500 firefighters built lines with bulldozers and by hand
    on the east side of the fire Thursday to protect Punkin Center and
    the Tonto Basin area. Aircraft also dropped retardant over the
    blaze.
    The fire was burning chaparral, grass and ponderosa pines in
    steep, rocky terrain, and full containment was expected by Monday.
    ---
    FLORIDA FIRE
    TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Madera Canyon residents have finally been
    allowed to return to the homes they fled because of a wildfire.
    The 23,183-acre Florida fire was declared fully contained
    Thursday.
    Though residents were allowed to return to Madera Canyon, which
    has about 30 homes and lodges, the area remained closed to the
    public, said Donna Nemeth, a spokeswoman for the team fighting the
    fire. The Smithsonian Institution's Fred Lawrence Whipple
    Observatory on Mount Hopkins was also closed.
    About 400 firefighters monitored fire lines and did
    rehabilitation work Thursday.
    The fire was started by lightning July 7.
    ---
    J. CANYON FIRE
    WICKENBURG, Ariz. (AP) - Firefighters built lines around a
    10,450-acre fire burning 15 miles northeast of here in the Bradshaw
    Mountains.
    The J. Canyon fire was 5 percent contained Thursday, said George
    Taylor, a spokesman for the team fighting the fire.
    The fire wasn't threatening any structures. The closest
    structures remained two miles east in Cooper Ranch, where there are
    several cattle ranches.
    The blaze had spread up to a rate of a mile per hour earlier in
    the week, but the fire has calmed down because of increased
    humidity, Taylor said.
    It was burning grass and brush on rugged terrain.
    ---
    SH RANCH COMPLEX FIRE
    BAGDAD, Ariz. (AP) - A wildfire burning 10 miles east of here
    grew to 22,000 acres Thursday and was 20 percent contained.
    Seventy-six firefighters built containment lines and put out hot
    spots on the SH Ranch Complex fire Thursday, said Stuart Bishop, a
    spokesman for the Arizona State Land Department.
    Firefighters have a "good handle on it," he said.
    Full containment was expected by Saturday.
    ---
    BUTTE COMPLEX FIRE
    CAMP VERDE, Ariz. (AP) - Firefighters worked to rehabilitate the
    area where a 7,700-acre wildfire has burned 13 miles southwest of
    here.
    The Butte Complex fire, which was 95 percent contained, was
    expected to be fully contained by Thursday night, said Wendell
    Peacock, a spokesman for the team fighting the fire.
    Firefighters patrolled fire lines and mopped up remaining hot
    spots Thursday.

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    Post July 24th

    KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) - An 13,000-acre wildfire 30 miles northwest
    of Kingman has received considerable rain, but officials were
    concerned that steady winds and high temperatures in the coming
    days could make it harder to fight the blaze, officials said.
    Even though the Twin Mills fire was considered to be threatening
    50 homes in Golden Valley, the blaze was three miles away from the
    houses and wasn't burning toward the community, said Wendell
    Peacock, a spokesman for the team fighting the fire.
    The fire was 50 percent contained and the acreage was reduced
    Sunday night from 15,600 acres because of better mapping, he said.
    People living in homes scattered outside of the fire's perimeter
    had voluntarily evacuated the area Saturday while crews conducted
    burnout operations to destroy natural fuels around the structures.
    The residents returned home shortly after the burnout operations.
    It's not known how many homes were evacuated or how close the
    fire was from the structures.
    Rain fell on the fire Saturday and Sunday. "We are catching a
    break thanks to some precipitation (Sunday) and lower temperatures
    and higher humidity," Peacock said.
    Helicopters and airplanes dropped water and retardant on the
    fire in an effort to keep it from moving toward the south, east and
    west. Crews on the ground battled the fire from a safe distance.
    An estimated 200 firefighters were battling the lightning-caused
    blaze, which began Friday night. Peacock said several crews were
    expected to be sent home Monday.
    ---
    EDGE COMPLEX FIRE
    PUNKIN CENTER, Ariz. (AP) - A 71,600-acre wildfire near this
    central Arizona community is winding down, officials said Sunday.
    Humidity, rain and calm winds were credited with helping to slow
    the Edge Complex fire's progress, said fire information officer
    Jennifer Byington.
    The fire was no longer threatening any homes.
    Earlier in the fire, people who were asked to evacuate about 350
    houses in the Sleepy Hollow, Sycamore Creek, Mazatzal and Walnut
    Springs subdivisions were allowed to return.
    Residents had also been allowed back into about 15 homes
    evacuated in the rural community of Sunflower, west of the fire.
    The fire came within an estimated half-mile of the homes.
    The fire was 60 percent contained. Full containment was expected
    Monday morning.
    Crews focused Sunday on protecting fire containment lines and
    monitoring hotspots within the blaze's boundaries.
    Nine hundred firefighters were working on the fire. That number
    was expected to drop soon.
    ---
    SH RANCH COMPLEX FIRE
    BAGDAD, Ariz. (AP) - A 23,700-acre wildfire 10 miles east of
    here was contained Sunday night.
    No homes were threatened, said fire information officer Judy
    Wood.
    Forest officials were keeping an eye for hot spots but crew were
    released.

    (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

    APTV 07-25-05 0025EDT
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  6. #31
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    Post July 25th

    PUNKIN CENTER, Ariz. (AP) - A 71,665-acre wildfire near Punkin
    Center in central Arizona was fully contained.
    High humidity over the weekend helped firefighters contain the
    Edge Complex fire Sunday night, said Jim Whittington, a spokesman
    for the team fighting the fire.
    "When you get a little bit of humidity on it, it greatly
    diminishes the intensity of the fire," Whittington said. "When
    the humidity set in Friday and Saturday, we were able to make fast
    progress on the perimeter."
    Earlier in the fire, people were asked to evacuate about 350
    houses in the Sleepy Hollow, Sycamore Creek, Mazatzal and Walnut
    Springs subdivisions. About 15 homes in the rural community of
    Sunflower, west of the fire, also were evacuated. All residents
    were allowed to return Friday.
    Firefighters rehabilitated the area Monday by rebuilding roads
    and recreational trails.
    ---
    TWIN MILLS FIRE
    KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) - A nearly 12,000-acre wildfire was 95
    percent contained Monday night after rains helped firefighting
    efforts over the weekend.
    Full containment for the fire was expected by Tuesday night,
    said Wendell Peacock, a spokesman for the team fighting the blaze.
    The fire, started by lightning on Friday, was listed at 13,000
    acres earlier Monday but Peacock said more accurate mapping lowered
    the acreage to 11,927.
    While the rains brought higher humidity and lower temperatures,
    some areas became so muddy that firefighters had a hard time
    working around the fire, according to Peacock.
    "The weather has been a boon and a pain for us," Peacock said.
    He said 300 firefighters were reinforcing lines, working on hot
    spots and dropping water over the Twin Mills fire Monday. The
    number of firefighters was expected to be reduced by half.
    People living in homes scattered outside of the fire's perimeter
    had voluntarily evacuated the area Saturday while crews conducted
    burnout operations to destroy natural fuels around the structures.
    The residents returned home shortly after the burnout operations.
    About 50 homes in Golden Valley three miles from the fire also
    had been threatened over the weekend, but they were not in danger
    Monday.
    "Right now we don't have anything near the fire we consider
    threatened," Peacock said.
    ----
    BARFOOT FIRE
    TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - A 1,581-acre fire in the Chiricahua
    Mountains was 50 percent contained Monday, with full containment
    expected by Saturday.
    More than 130 firefighters rehabilitated the area Monday and
    monitored the fire, said Marylee Peterson, a Coronado National
    Forest spokeswoman.
    After receiving more than an inch of rain Sunday, the fire
    wasn't expected to grow, Peterson said.
    The fire forced the evacuation of Pine Canyon United Methodist
    Camp, but the camp's structures were not threatened.
    The blaze started by lightning July 17.

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  7. #32
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    Post Aug 1. 2005

    PHOENIX (AP) - This year's fire season has been the worst in
    state history -- and fire agencies warn that while blazes are
    slowing down, the season isn't over yet.
    Wildfires have scorched at least 696,921 acres so far this year,
    surpassing the 629,876 acres that burned in 2002, the year of the
    largest wildland blaze in state history, the Rodeo-Chediski fire.
    The 2005 figure is also more than three times the 219,403 acres
    that burned in 2004, according to figures from the Southwest
    Coordination Center. But this year's acreage could still grow.
    Since the start of the monsoon season last month means increased
    moisture in the air, the few fires that do start probably won't
    grow very large, said Jim Payne, spokesman for the U.S. Forest
    Service.
    However, the monsoons don't mean an abrupt end to the fire
    season, said meteorologist Chuck Maxwell.
    "It definitely winds down, but it may be days, weeks,
    whatever," Maxwell said.
    Arizona has seen a wet past couple of weeks, but forecasts
    indicate hot, dry stretches ahead, Maxwell said. As soon as the
    relative humidity drops, the fire danger will increase again.
    While acreage figures have been high this year, relatively few
    homes have been lost. Exact figures haven't been compiled yet, but
    "well under 50" structures have burned, said Judy Wood, a fire
    information officer for the state forest service.
    The 248,310-acre Cave Creek complex fire destroyed the most
    structures this year, burning 11 homes and three storage sheds. By
    comparison, the Rodeo-Chediski fire burned about 465 homes, and
    2003's Aspen fire destroyed about 320 homes and cabins.
    Most fires have stayed away from residential areas, said Don Van
    Driel, the Tonto National Forest's group leader for fire
    engineering and safety
    As the fire season winds down, some rehabilitation has already
    started, said Penny Luehring, who is coordinating rehabilitation
    efforts in Arizona and New Mexico's national forests.
    However, Luehring said rehabilitation efforts have been "kind
    of a bare bones, keep the patient alive type of thing." This year,
    $1 million has been allocated for emergency rehabilitation,
    compared to $3 million spent on rehabilitation last year and $13
    million in 2002.
    With most of this year's fires burning in the desert, reseeding
    efforts and other rehabilitation techniques that work in forests
    wouldn't be effective, Wood said.
    "There's absolutely no way to rehabilitate the desert," Wood
    said.
    Federal agencies have spread some fast-growing native grasses
    and cereal grains that won't reproduce to hold soil in place and
    prevent erosion, Luehring said.
    Fences have also been set up to prevent off-road vehicles from
    damaging fragile burned areas, Luehring said.
    People will have to be patient as they wait for the desert to
    rehabilitate itself, she said. It will take two years for most
    native brush to grow back at all.
    Some nurseries are also experimenting with raising saguaros and
    transplanting them in the desert to speed up natural growth,
    Luehring said.
    "Granted, we're not getting much of a head start on something
    that takes 100 years to grow," Luehring said.
    ---
    On the Net:
    U.S. Forest Service: http://www.fs.fed.us/
    Southwest Coordination Center: http://gacc.nifc.gov/swcc/
    Tonto National Forest: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/tonto/home.shtml

    (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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