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Weather delays end of Flagstaff forest thinning project

Flagstaff mayor issues disaster declaration
Posted at 11:56 AM, Jun 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-04 14:57:00-04

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - Officials say the reopening of forests near Flagstaff has been pushed back following weather delays for a helicopter logging project.

The Arizona Daily Sun reports part of the Coconino National Forest closed in January for a forest thinning project aimed reducing the severity of wildfires.

Forest Service spokesman George Jozens says the agency plans to open the entire Mount Elden area by the end of June, but some sections could open sooner.

The forests were scheduled to reopen last Friday.

Markit! Forestry Management is operating the logging project that involves using helicopters to haul felled trees out of the rugged Dry Lake Hills area.

Company vice president Patrick Gayner says wind conditions have caused the biggest problems. Operations stop when winds speeds reach 17 mph.