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McCain, Flake Sign On For Fossil Creek Road Improvements

Fossil Creek
Andrew Bernier/KJZZ
Fossil Creek in Coconino National Forest.

Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake have signed off on the Pine-Strawberry Fire District’s request to update Fossil Creek’s roads. Fossil Creek is a popular recreation area in Yavapai County, north of the Valley. 

Pine-Strawberry Fire Chief Gary Morris said road closures by the Forest Service since 2006 have caused what was about an hour and a half rescue time to now take five to seven hours.

“Those five-hour rescue's, seven-hour rescues are like climbing Camelback Mountain on a summer afternoon,” Morris said.

Morris said the senators’ support can help them move forward on what he calls a “public safety crisis.”

“The fact it’s coming from senators, wakes up anybody. I mean, when a senator asks or demands you do something for them, it gets your attention,” Morris stated.

Morris said there have been over 600 rescues at Fossil Creek in the past three years.

Ashley Carter was an intern at KJZZ in 2017 and 2018.