Flagstaff, AZ (December 2, 2011) – Pending favorable conditions, fire managers on the Coconino National Forest are tentatively planning several prescribed pile burns for the week of December 5.
The following projects are planned for Monday, December 5.
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 in Oak Creek Canyon and southward into the West Fork of Oak Creek. Expect smoke to be noticeable on Highway 89A.
Eastside Project: 50 acres located south of Flagstaff and the Little America Hotel, off Hutton Ranch Road. During the day, smoke will disperse to south and southeast with the forecast winds. Piles are smaller and should be consumed by the end of the day. Smoke production will be minimal by nightfall, however, residual smoke will likely settle in the Forestdale area overnight.
Flagstaff District Miscellaneous Piles: 25 acres located at Walnut Canyon National Monument. Smoke will disperse to the northeast. A light haze may be noticeable in Walnut Canyon.
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 several others including Munds Park Project, Woody Ridge Project west of Flagstaff off Woody Mountain Road, and various miscellaneous piles on the Mogollon Rim District south of 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