Flagstaff AZ (February 13, 2012) – Fire managers are planning to conduct prescribed pile burns on the Oak Creek Canyon and Eastside project tomorrow February 14, pending favorable conditions.
Oak Creek Canyon Project – Approximately 37 acres of piles located north of Sedona in Oak Creek Canyon. Piles mostly consist of light brush that will burn quickly, leaving little residual smoke. During the day, smoke will rise up and out of Oak Creek Canyon. Some smoke may drift down canyon and noticeable in the Forest Houses area overnight.
Eastside Project – Up to 125 acres of piles located southwest of Little America Hotel, northeast of Lake Mary Road and the Heckethorn area. Overnight smoke may be noticeable in the Lake Mary and Walnut Canyon areas, and behind the Continental neighborhood; however daytime ventilation will be good and will help lift most smoke away from communities.
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