Burn Successful on Arizona Refuge

June 25, 2008

Firefighters safely completed a 12,000-acre prescribed burn on the 118,000-acre Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in Sasabe, Arizona. The burn was conducted in steps between June 11 and June 18.

The refuge uses periodic planned burns to cost-effectively regenerate natural areas and help wildlife flourish. In recent years, Mesquite trees on the refuge began to dominate native vegetation, choking out the open semi-desert grassland. Fire is an essential tool used throughout the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reduce accumulated brush and other overgrown vegetation. Unchecked, the accumulation quickly becomes hazardous fuel for dangerous wildfires that threaten communities and natural areas.

In addition to land within the refuge boundaries, adjacent private land was also treated during the prescribed burn. Firefighters from the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service assisted with the project. This is the first burn to be implemented under a new interagency fire management plan for the local area.

The refuge provides grassland and wetland habitat for threatened and endangered plants, animals and birds including the Masked Bobwhite Quail. It is also home to wildlife such as mule deer, white-tailed deer, pronghorn, javelina and mountain lions.

For more information about the refuge, visit

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