Flagstaff AZ (November 6, 2020) – With an increased chance of moisture and cooler temperatures arriving this weekend, two large pile burns are planned on the Mogollon Rim and Flagstaff ranger districts Monday and Tuesday (Nov. 9-10).
Fire managers on the Mogollon Rim Ranger District are planning on conducting a green waste burn at Bly Pit, while a pile burn is also planned on the Flagstaff Ranger District at Willard Springs Pit during the same timeframe.
Pile burns are dependent upon weather conditions and typically conducted during times when rain or snow has fallen in the area so these green waste piles can burn hot, quickly, and efficiently. The Bly Pit and Willard Pit burns will allow residents in the area to have a place to take new debris prior to spring cleanup.
Pile burns have been very limited this year due to COVID-19 impacts, and this has resulted in a large amount of green waste material in the pits that requires burning and will likely produce visible smoke for several weeks after ignition. The pits will likely be closed during the burns until the piles have been consumed.
Smoke will generally be heaviest the first day of ignitions due to the amount of green waste at the sites and is predicted to move toward the northeast. Cooler temperatures at night may impact the local area with smoke that settles in low-lying areas. The Willard Pit burn may produce smoke impacts in the immediate area along Interstate 17, as well as the communities of Munds Park, Kachina, and Mountainaire.
When ignition begins on any prescribed burn, the forest social media accounts are updated so the public can know why smoke is in the air and where it is coming from.
Coconino National Forest works closely with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to monitor smoke impacts.
Individuals sensitive to smoke can learn how to protect their health by visiting the Coconino County Public Health Service District website.