Flagstaff AZ (December 27, 2011) – Flagstaff Area National Monuments has received permission to start pile burning at Sunset Crater Volcano this morning and will continue throughout the afternoon as favorable weather conditions continue. The debris piles are located behind the housing area off a private dirt road. The piles were constructed during manual fuels reduction projects in preparation for future prescribed burns. They consist of small tree branches, twigs, and needles removed during preparation of prescribed fire control lines. Pile burning is a necessary preparation for prescribed burning. The piles will be monitored by firefighters until they are completely out.
A test pile will be burned approximately two miles northeast of Wupatki National Monument in Deadman Wash tomorrow, December 28. If successful, a smoke permit will be sought for Thursday, December 29. If weather conditions are favorable, burning will begin and continue throughout the remainder of the week. If the burn prescription cannot be fulfilled, burning will be continued at a later date.
Park visitors may see or smell smoke in the vicinity of the piles. Signs are posted advising visitors and motorists of possible smoke along impacted travel corridors. Coordination with the Department of environmental Quality is underway to ensure that smoke impacts are minimized.
For more information on this debris burning project, please contact Jesse Causer, Grand Canyon National Park Supervisory Forest Technician at 928.638.7948 or Charles Strickfaden, Public Information Officer, Flagstaff Area National Monuments at 928.526.1157, extension 228.