GLOBE, AZ — Tonto National Forest officials in Globe are starting a new project to get wildfires under control. Next month, they will begin doing prescribed burns near Globe and the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation.
Globe District Ranger Adam Bromley tells ABC15 they haven't done prescribed burns in that area in nearly a decade, but he believes it is time for a new approach.
"It's time for a change," Bromley said. "It's the best way to describe it. Our environment is changing around us in so many ways."
The area where they will do prescribed burns, along with mechanical thinning, will be about 10 miles north of where the Telegraph Fire was last year. Bromley says wildfires have gotten more intense in recent years because of the heat, thicker terrain, and more people coming to the area who cause the fires.
He says the Telegraph Fire and the Griffin Fire in 2020 crossed over to the reservation. Because of the Highway Tanks Tribal Forest Protection Act Project, officials will now be able to improve forest health on the reservation as well.
"The people who live here in these communities have been heavily impacted," Bromley said. "So for us, to make sure they understand what is going on is going to be a very important piece to this. That's our job. To get that information out there through every avenue we can."
Bromley says forest officials will notify residents before the prescribed burns take place. There are no set dates at this time because it will be dependent on the weather.
He says the project is also an effort to protect watersheds within the Upper Salt River and San Carlos subbasins. The watersheds are responsible for the state's water supply.