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Prescribed Fires in Kaibab and Coconino Forests

October 17
12:22 2014

Kaibab National ForestYou may have noticed smoke looming in the Northern Arizona skyline lately.  Coconino and Kaibab National Forest Fire managers will be starting multiple prescribed fire treatment projects in the North Kaibab, Tusayan, Lake Mary and Williams areas of Northern Arizona before wet weather conditions arrive for the winter.

On the North Kaibab Ranger District, North Zone fire managers  have implemented a prescribed fire treatment in order to reduce an estimated 5 to 7 tons of surface fuels per acre in the Dry Park PU1 project area.

In wildfire management terms, surface fuels are defined as dead and down surface litter on the soil surface. This litter typically consists of fallen leaves, needles, twigs, bark, cones and small branches that have not yet decayed enough to lose their identity, as well as, grasses, forbs, low and medium shrubs, tree seedlings, downed logs, and stumps.

Air quality is always a top consideration when planning any prescribed fire,” said North Kaibab District Ranger, Randall Walker. “Although smoke resulting from prescribed fires is a concern for the community, the smoke produced from these burns is considerably less than from unplanned wildland fires. To help mitigate smoke impacts we select days to burn when weather conditions will help move smoke up and away from our neighboring communities, and we break up our prescribed burn plan into several smaller blocks so that smaller amounts of smoke are produced at any one time.”

Prescribed fire treatments require that fire managers continuously monitor weather and fuel conditions throughout the treatment process in order to ensure firefighter and visitor safety. The following prescribed treatments are scheduled for the upcoming week but will only be implemented only once conditions are favorable to do so:

During implementation of these prescribed treatments, visitors may see fire personnel and fire vehicles in the vicinity and are cautioned to drive slowly, turn on headlights, and avoid stopping in areas where fire personnel are working.

All prescribed burning on the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests are subject to approval by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and appropriate weather conditions.  For additional information on the Smoke Management Division of the ADEQ and to view prescribed burns authorized for any given day, visit http://www.azdeq.gov/environ/air/smoke/index.html.

Get fire activity updates and maps 24 hours-a-day:

Fire Information Line at 928-635-8311

InciWeb at inciweb.nwcg.gov

To SMS text: ‘follow kaibabnf’ to 40404

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