Forest thinning project underway in Kaibab National Forest

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PARKS, Ariz. (AP) -- Federal officials say the beginning of a sizable thinning operation in part of the Kaibab National Forest means residents and visitors should be on the lookout for heavy, mechanized equipment, including numerous trucks hauling logs from the area.

Tree removal began recently on the 1.6-square mile (4.1-sq. kilometer) area about 11 miles (17.7 kilometers) north of Parks, which is about halfway between Flagstaff and Williams along Interstate 10.

Officials say harvesting is expected to be completed by year's end, depending on weather conditions, with trucks hauling logs down Forest Road 141 through Parks to Interstate 40.

The timber sale in the area is intended to improve forest and watershed conditions and to reduce the potential for high-intensity wildfires.

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