Kofa National Wildlife Refuge is located in southwestern Arizona between the city of Yuma and the town of Quartzsite in La Paz and Yuma counties. The Corps of Engineers is investigating and monitoring this area through the Formerly Used Defense Sites, or FUDS Program, for munitions and explosive hazards that may remain from previous military activity. This page provides information on Southeastern Impact Area, which is part of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge FUDS.
The Southeastern Impact Area project comprises 17,822 acres and is located in the southeastern portion of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. The project extended into the northwest portion of the mortar, artillery, and small arms range fans used by nearby Camp Horn. The camp, located in the southeastern portion of the Laguna Maneuver Area, was one of four camps set up in the state of Arizona for use as part of the California-Arizona Maneuver Area between 1942 and 1944.
Munitions suspected to have been used at the project area include small arms ammunition, high-explosive and target practice artillery, high-explosive mortars, and anti-tank mines. Previous inspections have discovered multiple munitions debris findings consisting of projectile fragmentation, small arms munitions, a tail assembly from a mortar round and an anti-tank practice mine fuze. Impact craters, ground scarring and tank tracks have also been discovered in this area.
Today, the property is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website, more than 80 percent of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge is designated as wilderness. It offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy wildlife watching, photography, hiking, camping and limited hunting.
Based on available information, the Corps of Engineers has determined that additional investigations may be required for the Southeastern Impact Area project. Because the area is designated as a wildlife refuge, it may be some time before the Corps of Engineers and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service determine the best course of action. Until then, the Corps of Engineers recommends that visitors follow the 3Rs of Explosives Safety (Recognize, Retreat, Report) if they may have encountered a munition.
As part of a Notification and Safety Education initiative for the FUDS Program, the Army Corps of Engineers mailed postcards to landowners within the project area. The goal of the initiative is to raise awareness of the potential risks and hazards associated with FUDS properties and to reduce impacts to human health, safety and the environment until further response activities are initiated at the sites. For more information, call the Formerly Used Defense Sites Information Center toll-free number 1-855-765-3837 or review the safety guides and maps located in the menu on the left.