Crooks Fire Closure Lifted, Recreation Sites Open and the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) report finished

Map: Crooks Fire Burn Severity Map

Firefighters have completed the majority of the initial phase of suppression repair work associated with the Crooks Fire.  The current fire closure in the Spruce Mountain area has been lifted opening Groom Creek Trail Head 307, Groom Creek Loop Trail #307, Isabella Trail #377, Spruce Mountain Lookout and Picnic Site and Groom Creek Horse Camp.  Patrolling and securing the perimeter of the fire will continue.  As a reminder, residents within the Crooks Fire area need to utilize caution while driving on the roads as firefighters continue to work in and around the fire area.  Hazards still exist in and around the fire area and residents living nearby should utilize care as fire-weakened trees, ash pits, and burned stump holes remain.

The Crooks Fire is at 96% containment.  Objectives have not changed, and resources are still in place to meet those objectives.  These objectives include, providing for the safety of the public and fire resources, keeping the fire within its current footprint, ensuring total suppression of the fire and completing suppression repair work.  Fire containment likely will not change until measurable precipitation is received over the fire area.

As stated above the majority of the initial phase of suppression repair work has been completed.  A second phase of suppression repair work will resume late summer early fall when weather conditions are more favorable and fire risk is reduced.  This repair work will be taking place on Spruce Mountain ridge south of the Spruce Mountain Lookout Tower.  A small closure area may go back into effect during the completion of this repair work to ensure firefighter and public safety.

The Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team has completed the post-fire assessment on the Crooks Fire which is now 96% contained and have concluded the area affected by the fire does pose post fire risks to public safety. High and moderate burn severity areas pose the greatest risk and are potential sources of unstable soils and rock, falling trees and increased flooding. Public hazards have been identified within the fire footprint and downstream of the fire scar. Post-fire hazards are of particular concern during summer monsoon events.

BAER teams focus on emergency actions necessary to protect human life and safety, property, and natural and cultural resources, including affected watersheds. BAER assessments identify unacceptable risks on federal lands from post-fire threats and help land managers prepare burned areas for potential threats from rainstorms. Burned areas often experience increased soil erosion and runoff from rainstorms. 

To mitigate post-fire risks, the following treatments have been identified:

  • Warning signage on strategic roads and trails will be installed warning the public of post-fire risks.
  • Culvert storm proofing on Senator Highway.
  • Surveying for detection of Dalmatian Toadflax in selected areas; a federally and State listed noxious weed.

 

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