3 years ago today, Forest Service firefighters saved the Tonto National Forest. Between April 25th and April 30th of 2017, 825 acres of wild horse habitat burned down, and it was frightening. Below are some of the pictures we took.
Ashes were falling on the horses, and on us, while we monitored and worked with the Forest Service to keep an eye on the horses. Newschoppers stayed in touch with us also to make sure not one horse became trapped by fences.
It was a scary dose of reality; that it could all be gone in an instant. We are worried for this fire season, because we know how much underbrush there is, from the wet spring we had. The hot temps right now have instantly dried out the grasses and weeds.
We are especially worried about the areas where the horses don’t roam anymore, like the Bulldogs, the Phon D area and the southside of Bush Hwy. There are also rec areas right now that are full of weeds, because horses have not been there.
We are less worried about the areas that are the most frequented by the horses because one of the great ecological benefits of wild horses is that they provide fire mitigation, by trampling and eating the underbrush that spreads forest fires.
We are always watching the nearby forest fires. We sincerely thank the US Forest Service for implementing fire restrictions early.
Please everyone, be careful when you are recreating. It only takes a spark.