Several prescribed burn planned on Coconino National Forest, week of October 31, 2016

Contact(s): Coconino National Forest Supervisor's Office 928-527-3600, Media Contact: Brady Smith 928-527-3490, Media Contact: George Jozens 928-527-3412


Flagstaff, Arizona — Fire managers are planning several prescribed burn projects this week across Coconino National Forest that will produce visible smoke around Flagstaff, Stoneman Lake and Clints Well, beginning as early as tomorrow.

Due to smoke impacts from the Horseshoe-Kendrick Project, U.S. Highway 180 north of Flagstaff will be restricted to one lane near the Kendrick Park area tomorrow (November 1, 2016) and possibly Wednesday (November 2, 2016). The Forest Service will be coordinating with Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), which will use pilot vehicles to lead traffic each way during the restriction. If conditions warrant, ADOT may temporarily close U.S. Highway 180.

These prescribed burns are conducted in order to help protect communities from severe wildfires by reducing forest fuel accumulation in strategic areas around northern Arizona communities, and also reintroduce fire into the Ponderosa pine ecosystem for restoration purposes. Not all of the listed projects will be pursued, as all prescribed burns are dependent upon weather and wind conditions, which can differ drastically across the forest. So all or some of them could be cancelled if conditions are not suitable.

 

Horseshoe-Kendrick Project (near Kendrick Park area)Map of the Horseshoe-Kendrick Project prescribed burn, fall 2016

  • When: Planned ignition will be Tuesday (November 1) as weather and conditions allow. Ignitions are scheduled to begin 9:30-10 a.m. and the burn is expected to last one day, but could also continue through Wednesday (November 2).
  • Where: Approximately 17 miles north of Flagstaff near Kendrick Park, along U.S. Highway 180.
  • Size: Approximately 3,200 acres.
  • Closures/Restrictions: U.S. Highway 180 near the Kendrick Park area will be restricted to one lane on Tuesday and possible Wednesday. Fire managers will be coordinating with ADOT, which will provide pilot vehicles that will lead traffic through the one-lane restricted area and determine when to lift the one-lane restriction or whether or not to close the highway. ADOT will be on scene during ignitions and monitoring smoke impacts to the highway overnight, if necessary.
  • Smoke Impacts: This is an initial entry burn, meaning that specific area has not had fire on the landscape in a long time and forest fuel accumulation will produce heavy smoke during the burn. For Tuesday, the wind is expected to ventilate the smoke toward the northeast, so smoke will impact motorists along U.S. Highway 180 and could impact U.S. Highway 89 northeast of the burn. Smoke will settle in the Kendrick Park area during the cooler evening hours, so motorists are cautioned to drive slowly and abide restrictions along the highway. For Wednesday, the wind is expected to shift and ventilate smoke toward the southwest and could impact communities such as Williams.

 

Eastside Project (Pine Canyon)Map of the Eastside Project prescribed burn, fall 2016

  • When: Planned ignition will be Thursday or Friday (November 3 or 4) if conditions are suitable for burning and ventilation is good. Ignitions typically begin between 9-10 a.m. and duration is expected to be one day.
  • Where: Near Pine Canyon subdivision and the Heckethorn community; approximately two miles south of Little America.
  • Size: Approximately 300 acres.
  • Closures/Restrictions: None.
  • Smoke Impacts: This is an initial entry burn, meaning that specific area has not had fire on the landscape in a long time and forest fuel accumulation will produce heavy smoke during the burn. If winds flow toward the east and northeast Thursday and Friday, smoke will be visible to motorists along Interstate 40, as well as residents of Flagstaff. With the smoke traveling toward the east/northeast, it may impact the following subdivisions in and around Flagstaff: Harold Ranch, Continental, Pine Canyon, Heckethorn and Walnut Canyon. During the evening hours, smoke usually settles in low-lying areas and may impact communities and roads near the burn area. Fire managers will reassess ventilation on Wednesday and Thursday, and may cancel this burn if conditions are not favorable for venting.

 

Mormon Lake Basin ProjectMap of the Mormon Lake Basin Project prescribed burn, fall 2016

  • When: Planned ignition will be Thursday or Friday (November 3 or 4) as weather and conditions allow. Duration is expected to be one day.
  • Where: Approximately one mile west of the Mormon Lake community.
  • Size: Approximately 1,500 acres.
  • Closures/Restrictions: None.
  • Smoke Impacts: This is an initial entry burn, meaning that specific area has not had fire on the landscape in a long time and forest fuel accumulation will produce heavy smoke during the burn. Smoke may impact Mormon Lake communities and Stoneman Lake, Rattlesnake Canyon and Forest Highway 3 (Mormon Lake Road). Cooling temperatures in the evenings may cause smoke to settle and drain down nearby canyons, potentially impacting the Village of Oak Creek. Fire managers will reassess ventilation on Wednesday and Thursday, and may cancel this burn if conditions are not favorable for venting.

 

Upper Beaver Creek Project (Stoneman Lake area)Map of the Upper Beaver Creek Project prescribed burn, fall 2016

  • When: Planned ignition will be Tuesday (November 1) as weather and conditions allow. Ignitions typically begin between 9-10 a.m. and duration is expected to be one day.
  • Where: Approximately 13 miles west of the Village of Oak Creek and just south of Stoneman Lake.
  • Size: Approximately 870 acres.
  • Closures/Restrictions: None.
  • Smoke Impacts: Smoke may impact Stoneman Lake and Mormon Lake communities to the north, and the Discovery Channel Telescope to the east. Cooling temperatures in the evenings may cause smoke to settle and drain down nearby canyons, potentially impacting the Verde Valley and the Village of Oak Creek.

 

Blue Ridge Urban Interface ProjectMap of the Blue Ridge Urban Interface prescribed burn, fall 2016

  • When: Planned ignition will be Tuesday (November 1) if conditions are suitable for burning and weather allows.
  • Where: Approximately eight miles northeast of Clints Well.
  • Size: Approximately 1,000 acres.
  • Closures/Restrictions: None.
  • Smoke Impacts: This is a maintenance burn, which means fire has been on the landscape within the last few years and this burn is conducted to maintain the area and keep it from building large amounts of forest fuels. Smoke during a maintenance burn is typically less dense than an initial entry burn. Good ventilation is expected to push smoke to the north/northeast during the day and may be visible to Happy Jack visitors, Clint Wells residents, others along the rim country, along with motorists on Forest Service Road 300, Arizona Route 87 and Lake Mary Road (Forest Highway 3).

 

 

Map of the location of the Poverty Fire near the Mogollon Rim, October 31, 2016The Mogollon Rim Ranger District is currently monitoring and managing a lightning-caused wildfire called the Poverty Fire, which began October 25 and is located six miles directly south of Clints Well. Fire managers will be using road systems to contain the fire today and back-burning from those roads, so smoke will be visible to those near Happy Jack, Clints Well and other surrounding Blue Ridge communities. Smoke will move toward the northeast and likely impact motorists on state Route 87, Lake Mary Road and forest roads in the area of the burn.

 

The public and media can get frequent and timely notifications for prescribed burns and other fire activities happening on the Coconino National Forest by following @CoconinoNF on Twitter. When ignition of a prescribed burn begins, we update our Twitter account so the public can know why smoke is in the air and where it is coming from.

Additional information can be found from the following sources:





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/coconino/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD523150