USA — August 17th, 2011, lighting ignited more than just the Frio Fire in the Pinal Mountains near Globe, AZ. The slow burning fire, which as of October 14th is still not officially out, was ideal for clearing underbrush and thinning the forest to prevent more catastrophic fires in the future. The fire also re-ignited what for years has been known by locals as Globes dirty little secret.
In 1965, the US Forest Service began a land improvement program in the Pinal Mountains. The program called for spraying an area of chaparral with Agent Orange to accomplish the objectives of multiple land use. For just over a month the smoke from the 2011 Frio Fire blanketed the communities at the base of the Pinals Mountains. Globe, Claypool, Miami and to the south east Dripping Springs, residents expressed concerns about the heavy, sometimes stifling smoke that filled the air. Frustrated with the length of time the fire has been permitted to burn, people began to express concerns about the increasing number of citizens experiencing respiratory complications from the smoke. For years long time residents of surrounding communities have questioned whether the herbicides sprayed in the late 1960s were being released into the air and carried into the community with the smoke. Despite studies funded by the Federal Government, they believe the Dioxins left behind still exist in the Pinal Mountains.