Monday, October 29, 2012

Prescribed Burns in Flagstaff


Ignitions complete on Eastside Project, prescribed burns to continue Tuesday

Flagstaff, AZ – At noon today, crews completed ignition on all 130 acres on the Eastside Project south of Flagstaff. This area is heavily laden with large dead and down fuels – described as “heavy fuel loading” – and the burn produced a significant amount of smoke south of Flagstaff. Winds are pushing smoke to the east northeast. Tonight the majority of smoke is expected to settle in Walnut Canyon, however smoke will also settle in the southeastern and eastern parts of flagstaff including the Country Club area. To reduce smoke impacts to the community, tomorrow’s planned burn is located 25 miles southeast of Flagstaff, south of Mormon Lake, and will not impact the Flagstaff area.

Because of the increase of outdoor activities in town on Halloween, fire managers are not burning in the Flagstaff area Wednesday. 

For Tuesday, October 30
  • Victorine Project – 500 acres located approximately five miles southeast of Highway 87, eight miles northeast of Blue Ridge Reservoir. Smoke will disperse to the north. This is a maintenance burn, meaning the area has been previously treated with fire, so smoke will be lighter. Overnight, however, some residual smoke may be noticeable in the Blue Ridge communities.
  • Mint Project – 1,000 acres located 25 miles southeast of Flagstaff, southeast of Mormon Lake and east of Lake Mary Rd. Smoke will disperse to the east with the forecast winds, though some residual smoke may settle around Lake Mary Road and Mormon Lake Village overnight. This burn is within the Arizona Game and Fish hunting unit 5B-South. No road closures will be in place, however, visitors should be cautious of fire equipment and crews and expect to drive slowly while in the vicinity.  

All prescribed fire activity is dependent on personnel availability, weather – including winds and ventilation, and approval from the ADEQ (www.azdeq.gov).

Fire managers make every effort to minimize smoke impacts to the communities while continuing to address the critical need to reduce the risk of severe wildfires around those communities. Tactics to keep smoke impacts as minimal as possible include canceling approved burns when conditions aren’t favorable, finding alternative uses for the debris in slash piles, timing daytime ignitions to allow the majority of smoke time to disperse prior to settling overnight, and burning larger sections at a time when conditions are favorable to reduce the overall number of days smoke is in the area.

In addition, the Coconino National Forest coordinates prescribed fire plans with the partners of the Ponderosa Fire Advisory Council (which includes state and local fire departments), as well as neighboring forests, to reduce the impact of smoke on the communities.

The public can obtain additional prescribed fire information via the following:
  • Prescribed Fire Hotline: 928-226-4607
  • Coconino National Forest Website: www.fs.usda.gov/coconino 
  • Click on “Prescribed Fire” on the right of the page
  • Sign-up for regular email notifications of planned burns:  http://www.fs.fed.us/news/subscription
  • Choose “Southwestern Region”
  • Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CoconinoNF
  • Local Ranger Stations: Flagstaff Ranger District, 928-526-0866; Red Rock Ranger District (Sedona) 928-203-2900; Mogollon Rim Ranger District (Blue Ridge) 928-477-2255

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Brienne Magee
Public Affairs Specialist
Flagstaff Ranger District
5075 N Hwy 89
Flagstaff AZ 86004
Desk: 928.527.8290
Cell: 928.310.6035

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