News briefing for June 5, 2019

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Posted: Wednesday, June 5, 2019 6:00 am | Updated: 2:01 pm, Thu Jun 13, 2019.

The reopening of forests in the Flagstaff area is being delayed as a result of weather issues and a logging project involving helicopters. The Coconino National Forest has been closed since January so an effort to reduce wildfire risks through forest thinning could be conducted. While the forests were scheduled to reopen this past Friday, recent wind conditions proved problematic in the use of helicopters to haul away felled trees. A spokesman for the forest services, George Jozens, has stated that all of Mount Elden will be open at the end of June, though it is possible that some sections will open at an earlier time.

The Maroon Fire, which is now under control, has burned an estimated 7,000 acres in the cinder basin located east of Flagstaff. However, fire crews have decided to perform a prescribed burn to eliminate a fire perimeter so that the blaze will ultimately reach 14,000 acres. A spokeswoman for the Coconino National Forest, Kate Hobbs, states that this action will benefit homes beyond the fire and will provide a buffer against future fires with the potential to last 15 years.

A man who plowed a car into three police officers outside a Phoenix convenience store two years ago has been sentenced to 35 years in prison. Marc Laquon Payne is said to have deliberately sped across the store parking lot and slammed into three Phoenix police officers who were standing near the store. One officer suffered a concussion, the other a broken leg, but the third officer suffered only minor injuries. Payne was convicted of three counts of attempted murder along with nine other felony charges.

We have a 30% chance of precipitation with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 9 a.m. Other than that, we’ve got mostly sunny skies with a high near 76 degrees. There will be a calm wind to the southwest this afternoon around six miles per hour. Tonight, we’ve got partly cloudy skies with a low around 47 degrees, with west winds of five to seven miles per hour.