Flagstaff AZ (December 9, 2011) – Pending favorable conditions, fire managers on the Coconino National Forest are tentatively planning to continue pile burning efforts the week of December 12.
The following projects are planned for Monday, December 12.
Oak Creek Canyon Project: Crews will burn in one of two locations in Oak Creek Canyon, depending on conditions: 37 acres across from Bootlegger Day Use Area west of Oak Creek, or 16 acres south of Slide Rock State Park, west of Manzanita Campground. The forecast winds will move smoke north and northwest, where it will follow drainages out of the canyon, however some light smoke will drift down canyon. If crews burn near Bootlegger, smoke may be noticeable around Junipine resort to south and Forest houses to north. If burning occurs near Slide Rock State Park, smoke will likely be noticeable in the Mission Rancho subdivision overnight. Piles in both locations are smaller and will be consumed quickly producing little residual smoke.
Eastside Project: 50 acres located south of Flagstaff and the Little America Hotel, off Herold Ranch Road. Smoke will rise disperse to the north. Piles are smaller and should be consumed by the end of the day. Smoke production will be minimal by nightfall, however, residual smoke will settle in the immediate area overnight. Light smoke may be noticeable in Forestdale.
For the remainder of the week, fire managers are tentatively planning to continue efforts on the Oak Creek Canyon and Eastside projects as well as the Woody Ridge Project west of Flagstaff and Highway 89A, and various miscellaneous piles on the Mogollon Rim District near Blue Ridge and Hwy 87.
Prescribed fire activity is dependent on personnel availability, weather – including winds and ventilation, and approval from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (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 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 the Prescribed Fire icon to 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