UPDATE (December 1, 2011) – Crews are en route to the Munds Park project this morning to check conditions on the ground before proceeding with ignitions. Ventilation is good today and most of the smoke is expected to disperse well, however, some smoke will likely follow the terrain toward Oak Creek Canyon. Expect smoke to be noticeable in the Sedona area.
Flagstaff, AZ (November 30, 2011) – Today’s Pete Project continues to go well as crews wrap-up ignitions. Smoke is dispersing to the north. A light haze has been noticeable on Hwy 89 southbound, driving into the sun. Overnight smoke is expected to disperse to the north and northwest; some residual smoke might be noticeable on Hwy 89 overnight.
For tomorrow, December 1, snow in the forecast may create ideal conditions for fire managers to conduct a prescribed pile burn south of Munds Park.
Munds Project: Up to 250 acres of piles located just south of Munds Park, east of I-17. Smoke is expected move to the southeast. Piles are small and should be completely consumed before nightfall, leaving little residual smoke overnight.
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
- 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