Flagstaff AZ (October 2, 2012) – Crews are finished with ignitions on the 175 acre A-1 prescribed fire today, however this afternoon’s winds developed differently than were originally forecast. Smoke is drifting into the Flagstaff area, and will likely settle in town overnight. Tomorrow’s forecast calls for areas of widespread smoke until late morning, when winds should help lift and disperse it to the northeast.
If conditions are favorable tomorrow, fire managers plan to burn another portion of the A-1 Project – up to 280 acres, in increments of approximately 150 acres at a time – west of Flagstaff at A-1 Mountain, north of I-40, southwest of Baderville, and northeast of Bellemont. Forecast winds will disperse smoke to the northeast during the day. Overnight, smoke is expected to settle around Baderville and Bellemont, and light smoke may be noticeable on I-40 and Hwy 180.
As of this afternoon, fire managers have 380 acres left to burn in the A-1 Project this season, and are hoping to complete this over the next two days. Even if conditions don’t allow crews to finish by Thursday, no burns will occur Friday or Monday Oct 8.
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.usda.gov/coconino
- Click on “Prescribed Fire” on the right of the page
- Sign-up for regular email notifications of planned burns:
- 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