- Southeast Arizona Birding Guide, Richard Fray - https://www.arizonabirder.com -

Peña Blanca Canyon Fire – the Aftermath

I was able to get back into the canyon again this afternoon. While there are some areas that are toast…

Peña Blanca Canyon [1]

Peña Blanca Canyon [2]

… it’s amazing how the fire fighters were able to ‘back burn’ around the big trees and important habitat to prevent the fire from taking hold and destroying them.

Peña Blanca Canyon [3]

Peña Blanca Canyon [4]

Peña Blanca Canyon [5]

I’m extremely impressed with the modern methods of burning high intensity fuels such as grasses and low vegetation to reduce the available fuel for the oncoming fire, making it easier to control. My sincere gratitude goes to the brave fire fighters who have, on the whole, saved my canyon!

Peña Blanca Canyon [6]

Peña Blanca Canyon [7]

The only real downside is that one of the few sycamores that must have partially caught fire was the one that had a pair of Zone-tailed Hawks nesting in it. The sycamore is still alive and part of it is still standing, but sadly the section that held the nest has come down and the hawks have gone. Hopefully the adults, which were on eggs, managed to escape.

Peña Blanca Canyon [8]

I haven’t been all the way up canyon yet close to the border, so there may have been more damage there, but that will have to wait for another time.