Two Search and Rescue Missions on San Francisco Peaks Wednesday

FLAGSTAFF – Coconino County Sheriff’s deputies and its Search and Rescue Unit conducted two search and rescue missions on the San Francisco Peaks Wednesday

About 3:00 p.m. Wednesday October 11, 2017 the Flagstaff 911 Center received a call from a woman who reported she was lost after starting a hike the Peaks. The woman and her three children—ages 2-to-11—from the Phoenix area had parked on the Snowbowl Road and started off on a hike. The woman reported she was currently on a trail, but was confused and did not know the way to return to her vehicle.

Deputies were able to get her location from her call to 911 and had her start walking out. A deputy responded to the area, who walked in on the trail, meeting the woman and assisting her back to her parked car.

About 6:35 p.m. the Flagstaff 911 Center received another call for a rescue on the Peaks. A 19-year old male and his girlfriend from the Phoenix area were hiking the Humphreys Trail when the male injured his ankle and reported a possible fracture.

The Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue unit responded and prepared for a liter carry of the injured hiker. The hiker had been able to make his way partial down the trail. Searchers made their way up the trail and made contact with the hiker and assisted him off the mountain. The hiker refused medical treatment.

No access to eastbound Interstate 40 from A-1 Mountain this week and early next

Northern Arizona drivers who access eastbound I-40 at A-1 Mountain (milepost 190) will use an alternate route this week and early next week because of guardrail replacement work. The Arizona Department of Transportation advises drivers to allow extra travel time as the nearest interchange — at Bellemont — is five miles to the west.

The A-1 Mountain on-ramp to eastbound I-40 is closed to 6 p.m. today and again from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 16. Drivers will use westbound I-40 to Bellemont (milepost 185) and turn around at the Bellemont traffic interchange to access eastbound I-40.

Crews are scheduled to replace the guardrail at the A-1 Mountain interchange in conjunction with the ongoing project to rehabilitate 12 miles of pavement along I-40 between mileposts 179 and 191, approximately four miles west of Flagstaff. Learn more at azdot.gov/I40Paving.

US EPA Proposes to Authorize Arizona’s Hazardous Waste Management Program Revisions

Between May 26, 1998, and July 28, 2006, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revised certain rules under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). To maintain equivalency of state and federal programs after these changes, Arizona has applied to EPA for authorization of changes to its hazardous waste program under the RCRA.

EPA has reviewed Arizona’s application with regards to federal requirements and is proposing to authorize the state’s changes. EPA’s proposed determination is subject to public review and comment.
View the Proposed Rule Document >
View Arizona’s Authorization Application >

You may also view Arizona’s application by contacting the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Records Center at 602-771-4380, Monday through Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Comment Period
Ends Nov. 6, 2017
Comment Now >

EPA will prepare a document summarizing how public comments were considered in the final EPA decision. The summary of comments and responses will be available at EPA’s website when completed. This notice is given in accordance with 40 C.F.R. § 271.21(b)(4).

As boating season winds down, prepare your safety gear for 2018

PHOENIX – Fall marks the end of boating season for many in Northern Arizona and as owners prepare to stow their watercraft until the spring, it’s an ideal time to inspect life jackets, safety gear and mechanical equipment. Getting repairs done in the offseason and taking stock of safety equipment will help ensure a successful start to the 2018 boating season — and it’ll give you a few more quality hours with the boat before storing it.

“Take advantage of the end of the boating season to look for anything that may need repairing and to take inventory of life jackets and other safety gear,” said Josh Hoffman, boating safety education coordinator for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “By doing this now, you will have a head start in the spring and can make sure all the mechanical equipment is working properly and that all safety gear is stored correctly.”

The following steps will help ensure the boat or watercraft is stored properly for next year and you’re ready to safely hit the water in 2018:

1. Inspect life jackets for any rips, tears, mold, mildew and worn areas. Also check to see whether the label is still readable before storing life jackets in a dry location. Arizona’s climate is tough on life jackets, and on average they need to be replaced every five years. If you own an inflatable-type life jacket visually check to ensure there are no rips, tears, excessive abrasion or holes, all seams are securely sewn, and the cover, straps and hardware are still strong. It would also be a good idea to test the inflatable for leakage. Orally inflate your life jacket until firm and then let it sit inflated for 16 hours. A life jacket with a leak in it will not hold its firmness and should be replaced.

2. Check the fire extinguisher to ensure it’s sufficiently charged. If not, make a note to recharge or replace it before the next boating season or your next outing.

3. As every watercraft owner should do every time he or she leaves the lake, pull the vessel’s drain plug, and dry and clean the hull. Doing so helps prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species like quagga mussels.

4. Make sure propellers are free of dings, pitting, cracks and distortion, and that they are secured properly. Inspect the hull for blisters, distortions and cracks.

5. Check the fuel system for any leaks or damages, giving special attention to fuel lines and connections. Damaged fuel hoses could either be cracked, brittle or soft. Also ensure the engine exhaust and ventilation systems are functioning properly. As with fuel lines, inspect all belts, cables and hoses that may have been damaged during the season. Ensure belts are fitted tightly and that there are no cracks on the outer jacket of the throttle, shift and steering control cables.

6. Brush up on your boating knowledge by taking one of the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s free safety courses. The classes are offered in Phoenix and Lake Havasu City every month to provide boaters with the information and tips needed to stay safe while on the water. Get more information and sign up for a course online.

For more information about storing your boat or watercraft during the offseason, BoatUS has numerous articles covering topics like tips for storage on the water as well as a PDF checklist detailing the steps to winterize a boat.

Paving on Interstate 40 ramps at Bellemont next week

BELLEMONT – The Arizona Department of Transportation is scheduled to pave at the Bellemont traffic interchange (Exit 185) next week as part of the improvement project on Interstate 40 from Parks to Riordan. The ramps will be closed during paving, however, access across the bridge will be accommodated at all times.

ADOT advises drivers to plan for extra travel time while work occurs and watch for the following ramp closures:

· WESTBOUND on- and off-ramps: Wednesday, Oct. 11, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
· EASTBOUND off-ramp: Thursday, Oct. 12, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
· EASTBOUND on-ramp: Friday, Oct. 13, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Motorists can use the interchanges at Parks (milepost 178) and A-1 Mountain (milepost 190) during the scheduled closures. Signs will be in place to assist with detour routes in the area.

Drivers should use caution and watch for construction personnel and equipment. For more information on the project, please visit the website at: azdot.gov/I40Paving.

North Zone fire managers announce plans for 2017-2018 prescribed fire season on Kaibab Plateau

FREDONIA – North Zone fire managers on the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest and the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park have announced locations where they plan to complete prescribed fire projects starting in October and continuing through the spring of 2018. Approximately 13,850 acres could be eligible for treatment across the plateau, but the implementation of each project will only occur when weather, fuel moisture, and smoke dispersal conditions are within the defined prescription parameters.

The role that prescribed fires play includes decreasing risks to life, resources, and property. Fire managers carefully plan prescribed fires, initiating them only under environmental conditions that are favorable to assure firefighter and visitor safety and to achieve the desired objectives, which include reducing accumulations of hazard fuels, maintaining the natural role of fire in a fire-adapted ecosystem, and protecting sensitive cultural and natural resources.

This season’s planned treatment areas are as follows:

Thompson Unit: The Thompson prescribed burn unit (Thompson Rx) consists of dense vegetation and heavy dead and down fuels that are predominantly composed of spruce, fir, and aspen. The ignition portion of the Thompson Unit is approximately 2,000 acres, and the project area is located both on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and the North Kaibab Ranger District, on the east side of AZ Highway 67 and directly east of the North Rim entrance station. Objectives include reducing accumulations of hazardous fuels by 40 percent.

Smoke impacts may include Highway 67, the North Rim Entrance Station, DeMotte Park and portions of the Grand Canyon including the Nankoweep area and Kwagunt Valley area. Additional smoke impacts may occur in the Marble Canyon area and as far away as Page.

Moquitch 3 Unit: The Moquitch 3 prescribed burn unit (Moquitch 3 Rx) consists of vegetation that is predominantly ponderosa pine with scattered clumps of aspen and patches of New Mexico locust. The unit is approximately 3,500 acres and is located about 6 miles south of Jacob Lake. Objectives include reducing accumulations of hazardous fuels down to 5 tons-per-acre and stimulating aspen regeneration in areas where mature clones exist.

Smoke impacts may include Jacob Lake, AZ Highway 67 and AZ Highway 89A.

Tipover East Unit: The Tipover East prescribed burn unit (Tipover Rx) consists of vegetation that is predominantly first-entry mixed conifer, which in this case means the area has not seen fire disturbance in more than 100 years and therefore contains above-average fuel loads potentially posing a higher risk of a large-scale wildfire. Fire managers plan to treat approximately 2,500 acres for this season. The unit is located on a strip of forested land along the boundary of Grand Canyon National Park and the Kaibab National Forest west of Highway 67. Objectives include reducing accumulations of hazardous fuels and protecting sensitive cultural and natural resources.

Smoke impacts may include Highway 89A, Highway 67, Marble Canyon and other high-use visitor areas.

North Rim Slopes Unit: The North Rim Slopes prescribed burn unit (Slopes Rx) also consists of vegetation that is predominantly first-entry mixed conifer. Fire managers plan to treat approximately 2,500 acres for this season. The unit is located along the north boundary of Grand Canyon National Park, west of Highway 67. Objectives include reducing accumulations of hazardous fuels by 25 percent and returning fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem.

Smoke impacts may include Highway 67, the North Rim Entrance Station, DeMotte Park and portions of the Grand Canyon.

Wildhorse Unit: The Wildhorse prescribed burn unit (Wildhorse Rx) consists of vegetation that is predominantly Ponderosa pine, Pinion pine, Juniper and a few scattered clumps of Aspen. The unit is approximately 2,800 acres and is located near Jacob Lake. Objectives include reducing accumulations of hazardous fuels down to 5 tons-per-acre and protecting sensitive cultural and natural resources.

Smoke impacts may include Forest Service roads north of Jacob Lake, Highway 89A, Jacob Lake developed area and the LeFevre overlook.

High Severity Edge Unit: The High Severity Edge prescribed burn unit (High Severity Edge Rx) consists of vegetation that is predominantly ponderosa pine and mixed conifer. Fire managers plan to treat approximately 500 acres for this season, and the unit is located on the Walhalla Plateau, west and south of Cape Royal Road. Objectives include limiting high severity fire effects in forested areas adjacent to or near patches of past high-severity wildfires.

Smoke impacts may include Highway 67, the North Rim Entrance Station, DeMotte Park and portions of the Grand Canyon.

Bright Angel Unit: The Bright Angel prescribed burn unit (Bright Angel Rx) consists of vegetation that is predominantly ponderosa pine. Fire managers plan to treat approximately 50 acres this season, and objectives include reducing fuel accumulations, creating a defensible space around structures in the developed area on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and protecting sensitive cultural and natural resources.

Smoke impacts may include portions of the Grand Canyon.

North Zone Pile Burns (Pile Rx): Fire managers will also spend time preparing to burn piles of woody debris as resources and weather conditions allow. These piles are typically composed of vegetative materials, commonly called slash, such as tops, limbs, branches, brush, and other recently cut miscellaneous materials resulting from forest management activities such as thinning, pruning, timber harvesting, and wildfire hazard mitigation. Upon arranging slash into compact, teepee-shapes and allowing the piles to dry, fire managers will burn the piles during safe burning conditions, generally after a snowfall or significant wetting-rain events.

During prescribed fires, motorists are cautioned that smoke may be present in short durations, which may impact roads and populated areas, and are reminded to use caution, drive slowly, turn on headlights, and avoid stopping in areas where fire personnel is working.

As a reminder, all prescribed burning is subject to approval by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and appropriate weather conditions. For additional information on the Smoke Management Division of the ADEQ and to view prescribed burns authorized on any given day, please visit http://www.azdeq.gov/environ/air/smoke/index.html.

Before any given prescribed fire operations begin, additional information will be released regarding location, timing and anticipated smoke impacts. Fire information is also available through the following resources: Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5632/; Kaibab National Forest Fire Information Phone Line (928) 635-8311; Text Message – text ‘follow kaibabnf’ to 40404; https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/management/fire_info.htm.

North Kaibab Ranger District announces changes in winter hours, closures

FREDONIA – Forest staff would like to remind visitors of the following changes for the upcoming winter season.

DeMotte Campground: The last night to camp is Oct. 14. This campground is scheduled to close for the winter season on Oct. 15 at noon.

Jacob Lake & Group Site Campgrounds: The last night to camp at these campgrounds will be Oct. 18. Both campgrounds are scheduled to close for the winter season on Oct. 19 at noon.

Big Springs & Jumpup Cabin Rentals: The last night to camp at Big Springs or Jump Up cabins is Nov. 2, unless inclement weather forces an earlier closure.

Information regarding campsites reservations, cabin rentals, and cancellations may be found at https://www.recreation.gov/.

Kaibab Plateau Visitor Center: Beginning Oct. 21 through Nov. 26, the Kaibab Plateau Visitor Center at Jacob Lake will only be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. During these hours, fuelwood permits will be available to purchase at the Visitor Center.

2017 Personal-Use Fuelwood Cutting Season: Permits are still available at the district office during regular business hours. As a reminder, all unused personal-use fuelwood cutting permits will not be valid after Nov. 30. Wood cutting permit sales will resume in May 2018 pending appropriate weather conditions. Additional information on fuelwood permits is available at https://go.usa.gov/xncXn.

71-Year-Old Female from Cameron Found

On Sunday, October 1st at approximately 8:30 pm, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office received a call that a female from Cameron had gotten separated from her family while picking pinon nuts on Grey Mountain. Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division and Navajo Police Department responded.

A search began Sunday night and continued through this morning. The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue, Flagstaff Fire Department Fuels Crew, Navajo Police Department and the Navajo Rangers.

This morning at approximately 10:50 am, the Flagstaff Fire Department Fuels Crew search team assigned to a search segment, located a female with altered level of consciousness. Responders began treatment and she was transported by the Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue for medical evaluation and follow up.

The Sheriff’s Office thanks all the agencies that were involved in the search efforts.

Infant Sleep Positioners: FDA Warning – Risk of Suffocation

ISSUE: FDA is reminding parents and caregivers not to put babies in sleep positioners. These products—sometimes also called “nests” or “anti-roll” products—can cause suffocation (a struggle to breathe) that can lead to death.

In the last 13 years, the federal government has received 12 reports of babies known to have died from suffocation associated with their sleep positioners. Most of the babies suffocated after rolling from the side to the stomach. In addition to the deaths, the commission has received dozens of reports of babies who were placed on their back or side in the positioners only to be found later in hazardous positions within or next to the product.

To reduce the risk of sleep-related infant deaths, including accidental suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants sleep on their backs, positioned on a firm, empty surface. This surface should not contain soft objects, toys, pillows, or loose bedding.

BACKGROUND: The most common types of sleep positioners feature bolsters attached to each side of a thin mat and wedges to elevate the baby’s head. The sleep positioners are intended to keep a baby in a desired position while sleeping. They are often used with infants under 6 months old.

RECOMMENDATION: Parents and other caregivers should not put babies in sleep positioning products.

  • NEVER use infant sleep positioners. Using this type of product to hold an infant on his or her side or back is dangerous.
  • NEVER put pillows, blankets, loose sheets, comforters, or quilts under a baby or in a crib. These products also can be dangerous. Babies don’t need pillows and adequate clothing—instead of blankets—can keep them warm.
  • ALWAYS keep cribs and sleeping areas bare. That means you should also never put soft objects or toys in sleeping areas.
  • ALWAYS place a baby on his or her back at night and during nap time. An easy way to remember this is to follow the ABCs of safe sleep: “Alone on the Back in a bare Crib.”

ISSUE: FDA is reminding parents and caregivers not to put babies in sleep positioners. These products—sometimes also called “nests” or “anti-roll” products—can cause suffocation (a struggle to breathe) that can lead to death.

In the last 13 years, the federal government has received 12 reports of babies known to have died from suffocation associated with their sleep positioners. Most of the babies suffocated after rolling from the side to the stomach. In addition to the deaths, the commission has received dozens of reports of babies who were placed on their back or side in the positioners only to be found later in hazardous positions within or next to the product.

To reduce the risk of sleep-related infant deaths, including accidental suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants sleep on their backs, positioned on a firm, empty surface. This surface should not contain soft objects, toys, pillows, or loose bedding.

BACKGROUND: The most common types of sleep positioners feature bolsters attached to each side of a thin mat and wedges to elevate the baby’s head. The sleep positioners are intended to keep a baby in a desired position while sleeping. They are often used with infants under 6 months old.

RECOMMENDATION: Parents and other caregivers should not put babies in sleep positioning products.

NEVER use infant sleep positioners. Using this type of product to hold an infant on his or her side or back is dangerous.
NEVER put pillows, blankets, loose sheets, comforters, or quilts under a baby or in a crib. These products also can be dangerous. Babies don’t need pillows and adequate clothing—instead of blankets—can keep them warm.
ALWAYS keep cribs and sleeping areas bare. That means you should also never put soft objects or toys in sleeping areas.
ALWAYS place a baby on his or her back at night and during nap time. An easy way to remember this is to follow the ABCs of safe sleep: “Alone on the Back in a bare Crib.”

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report
  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

AZGFD makes change to Wild Trout Challenge

PHOENIX – The Arizona Game and Fish Department is temporarily suspending the requirement for anglers to catch a Gila trout in order to complete the Wild Trout Challenge.

With the closure of Frye Creek, there is no longer a wild population of Gila trout open to fishing.

The Arizona Trout Challenge, which requires anglers to catch six of the eight total species in Arizona, remains unchanged since the closure to Frye Creek will not affect anglers trying to catch stocked Gila trout in Frye Mesa Reservoir.

In June, the 48,000-acre Frye Fire severely impacted the habitat in Frye Creek and nearby Ash Creek, and both populations of Gila trout, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, were effected by post-fire flood events that moved large amounts of ash, sediment and debris through the creeks.

Survey crews did not find any Gila trout in the creek, said Tracy Stephens, AZGFD’s Native Trout Biologist.

See more information about AZGFD’s trout challenges.