The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Gila District is re-opening all areas within the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area (NCA), after a partial and emergency temporary closure due to the Sawmill Fire and related Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation efforts.
“The BLM removed a total of 45 dangerous and burned cottonwood trees in Empire Gulch and Cienega Creek that posed a significant safety risk to the public,” said Las Cienegas Manager Karen Simms in a news release. “We are pleased to re-open the area to safe public access for recreational activities and are continuing to work with our permittees affected by the fire.”
The BLM issued an emergency closure on April 28 for public safety. A post-fire assessment revealed burned cottonwood trees weakened by the fire and numerous ash sinkholes in the Empire Gulch and Heritage Discovery Trail areas near the Empire Ranch Headquarters. In addition, hazards were found along portions of Cienega Creek and connected streams. The BLM opened portions of the NCA that the post fire assessment deemed non-hazardous on May 23.
The Sawmill Fire was reported on Sunday, April 23, off Highway 83, near Sonoita, Ariz.
The fire burned approximately 47,000 acres, including over 12,000 acres on the NCA. Additional information on the Sawmill Fire is available at
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