Lower Sycamore Creek, Parsons Trail to close Saturday due to flash flooding risk

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A portion of the Coconino National Forest surrounding Sycamore Creek will temporarily close at 6 a.m. Saturday due to an increased risk of flash flooding.

The closure area includes Parsons Trailhead, Parsons Trail north (including Parson's Spring), and the confluence of Sycamore Creek and the Verde River.

The purpose of the temporary area closure is to protect the public from increased risk of flash flood events during the monsoon season due to the post-fire debris that has accumulated in Sycamore Creek due to the Rafael Fire.

The Rafael Fire burned through the Sycamore Creek drainage in June 2021, leaving large amounts of debris within lower Sycamore Creek. Monsoonal rains occurring locally or within the border watershed may cause flash flooding due to steep canyons located around the creek. Due to the span of the creek's watershed, storms that can create flash floods in the Sycamore Creek area can occur miles away and may not be easily visible.

The Coconino NF will coordinate with the National Weather Service in determining when to lift this temporary closure. The closure will remain in place until monsoonal precipitation decreases enough that the area can be safely reopened.

The Coconino NF will continue monitoring the status of debris in the closure area and will determine when and whether to close the area again due to risk of flash flooding.

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