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Forest thinning underway on the San Francisco Peaks

Officials say forest thinning projects are underway to help reduce wildfire threats on the San Francisco Peaks.

The Forest Service awarded a $3.8 million contract to a Williams based company to thin a 2,600-acre portion on the western slopes of the San Francisco Peaks. 

A second contract was signed for another 2,000 acres of forest thinning in that area west of Flagstaff.

Coconino National Forest district ranger Matt McGrath updated county officials on the progress.

"They’re trying to get the vast majority of it done this calendar year before the fall," he said.

The thinning projects started this year after a pair of Northern Arizona University reports estimated a wildfire on the peaks would cause between half a billion and nearly $3 billion in devastation. 

Fronteras Desk senior editor Michel Marizco is an award-winning investigative reporter based in Flagstaff.