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Note to Hunters: Goodwin Fire Area Remains Closed Temporarily
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05 September 2017   Debbie Maneely

Goodwin Fire area to remain closed temporarily for public safety

Big Idea: The Goodwin Fire area will remain closed through monsoon season and perhaps later.

What you need to know:

1. The Goodwin Fire area will remain closed until further notice.

2. Recent precipitation has led to conditions that could create sudden hazards and public safety risks.

3. Hunters are encouraged to check with the Prescott National Forest or the Arizona Game and Fish for the latest information.

Prescott AZ (September 5, 2017) - Unstable conditions caused by heavy rains following the Goodwin Fire, which was active June 24th through July 10th, have necessitated continuing the closure of the burned area on the Prescott National Forest in order to ensure public safety.

Due to approaching opening dates for several big game hunts in northern Arizona, officials with the U.S. Forest Service and the Arizona Game and Fish Department are working jointly to alert the public and hunters of the Goodwin Fire Closure (Order Number: 09-240) that remains in effect in a portion of Game Management Unit 20A.

Weakened timber, debris flows and flooding can be a common occurrence in steep terrain after a wildfire event. Above normal monsoonal precipitation has been occurring, which could lead to sudden hazards and potential risks to public safety. Roads, hiking trails and sensitive drainages may experience higher than usual volumes of sediment delivery and runoff, potentially making the environment unpredictable and unsafe.

Actions are underway by Forest Service officials to assess and mitigate safety concerns that are identified during this immediate post-fire period. However, it is anticipated that the closure will remain in effect through the monsoons, as the active weather pattern and heavy rains that have been occurring provide the opportunity to surface potential public health and safety hazards.

“We acknowledge the inconvenience this temporary closure may cause, however limiting exposure at this time is necessary to ensure public safety,” said Bradshaw District Ranger, Sarah Tomsky. “It is our intention to reopen the area as soon as possible. However, we also need to allow time for moisture to dissipate and the environment to begin its natural stabilization. It is our responsibility and obligation to consider life, health and safety first and foremost in these kinds of circumstances, and we appreciate the public’s cooperation and support.”

Forest visitors are reminded to always check local conditions when planning a trip into the backcountry or wilderness. Weather can change rapidly and, in the process, dynamically alter ground surfaces in all types of terrain with very little warning.

Hunters are encouraged to check with the following agency offices to get the latest information regarding the closure and current conditions as their hunt approaches.

Prescott National Forest Supervisor’s Office: 928-443-8000, www.fs.usda.gov/prescott

Arizona Game and Fish Department: 928-692-7700

To view the Goodwin Fire Closure Order and Map online, go to or copy and paste the following links:

Order: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/prescott/notices/?cid=FSEPRD549282

Map: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd550914.pdf