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In fire-prevention mode, Eastern Arizona forest officials close some areas

PHOENIX -- Several areas inside the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest have been closed temporarily as of Wednesday morning as a fire-prevention measure.

Cathy Dowd, a spokeswoman with the Forest Service, said the largest closure area is on the Lakeside and Black Mesa Ranger Districts near Show Low, Pinedale, Clay Springs and Linden. Most of this area was the site of the 2002 Rodeo/Chediski wildfire.

The Timber Mesa/Porter Mountain area to the east of Show Low is being closed to protect a communications site that serves most federal, state, county and local law enforcement and private companies. Public safety is dependent upon this communications site.

"This area has several miles of heavily-used trails through forest with a substantial fuel load placing it at higher risk of wildfire," Dowd said.

The closures will remain in effect until the area gets substantial rainfall, Dowd said.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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