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Tonto National Monument, all roads reopened following Woodbury Fire

(Tonto National Forest photo)

PHOENIX – After a monthlong closure because of the Woodbury Fire, all roads in the area and the Tonto National Monument reopened Friday.

The human-caused wildfire scorched 123,875 acres of the Tonto National Forest this summer.

The last stretch of closed roadway was 9 unpaved miles of State Route 88 (Apache Trail) between milepost 220 east of Tortilla Flat and milepost 229 west of the Apache Lake marina turnoff.

The Arizona Department of Transportation said drivers should remain on alert about the possibility of flooding in the areas burned by the fire.

Firefighting crews from Flagstaff and Casa Grande worked diligently to protect the historic Tonto National Monument cave dwellings from the blaze.

With the monument reopening, visitors can once again explore the museum, participate in the Junior Ranger program, and learn about the people who built the cave dwellings nearly 700 years ago.

Educational items can also be bought from the Western National Parks Association store.

However, the park staff will continue to emphasize the hazards within the burned area which include, falling vegetation, increased erosion and rock falls, and potential flooding.

Although the closure was lifted, hiking the Lower and Upper Cliff Dwelling trails is prohibited. Hiking off-trail is also off limits.

They will not be collecting admission fees while the hiking trails are closed.

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