UPDATE (January 26, 2012) – Smoke from the Eastside Project was very noticeable in the Heckethorn and Lake Mary Road areas south of Flagstaff early this morning. It will continue to lift and disperse as the morning warms. The piles in this project area have been a major priority for fire managers this winter, and crews are nearing completion. They completed 60 acres yesterday and if they complete the full 150 acres planned for today, approximately 100 acres will remain to be burned in this area.
Today’s ventilation will be fair and the southwest winds will push smoke toward Walnut Canyon, Forestdale and Continental. Smoke can be expected to be noticeable in these areas overnight.
This afternoon, fire managers will evaluate conditions to determine whether they will continue efforts tomorrow or if they will wait and resume next week.
Flagstaff AZ (January 25, 2012) – Pending favorable conditions, fire managers on the Flagstaff Ranger District are planning to burn approximately 150 acres of piles on the Eastside Project tomorrow, Thursday January 26. Piles are located south of Flagstaff, southwest of Little America and Herold Ranch Road, northeast of Lake Mary Road and the Heckethorn neighborhood. Smoke will be visible south of Flagstaff and may be noticeable in the Heckethorn and Lake Mary Road areas overnight.
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 cancelling burns when conditions aren’t favorable, finding alternative uses for the debris in slash piles, timing 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