Flagstaff AZ (December 5, 2011) – Pending favorable conditions, fire managers on the Coconino National Forest are tentatively planning to conduct prescribed pile burns in Oak Creek Canyon and off Elden Lookout Road tomorrow, Tuesday December 6, 2011.
Oak Creek Canyon Project: 15 acres located north of Sedona in Oak Creek Canyon southeast of Cave Springs campground and west of Bootlegger Day Use Area. During the day, the majority of smoke will rise and disperse to the east. Overnight, residual smoke will settle into private inholdings near Cave Springs campground. Expect smoke to be noticeable on Highway 89A.
Eastside Project: 50 acres located north of Flagstaff off Elden Lookout Road. During the day, smoke will be noticeable from Flagstaff and will disperse to south and west with the forecast winds. Piles are smaller and should be consumed by the end of the day; smoke production will be minimal by nightfall. Some smoke will likely settle at the base Elden Lookout Road.
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