Tentative plans for prescribed burns next week

Contact(s): 928-527-3600


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., Nov. 1, 2019 — Coconino National Forest firefighters plan to conduct prescribed burns next week in areas that will lessen smoke impacts to surrounding communities.

 

These burns are among the prescribed burn projects planned for the Flagstaff Ranger District and the Mogollon Rim Ranger District this fall and are part of a strategy to allow fire across the landscape in order to restore forests to healthier conditions, protect watersheds and improve the safety of the communities around them.

 

Frequent, low-intensity fire removes accumulated smaller fuels and recycles nutrients in the soils to promote healthy vegetation and wildlife habitat. A healthier forest is a safer forest for firefighters and residents when wildfires inevitably occur.

 

The prescribed burn projects listed below are in chronological order and may occur on days other than noted, depending on favorable weather conditions. Firing ignitions for each of these projects begin at approximately 10 a.m. on the mornings indicated.

 

Fort Valley 1 & 4

  • When: Monday (Nov. 4).
  • Where: Approximately 8 miles northwest of Flagstaff, near the Fort Valley Trailhead. GPS: 35.270153, -111.677685
  • Size: 302 acres total, in two burn blocks.
  • Duration: 1-day operation.
  • Method/Type of burn: This is a broadcast maintenance burn using drip torches. The burn is an operation in partnership with the USFS Rocky Mountain Research Center, Northern Arizona University and the Ecological Research Institute to study the effects of consistent return intervals of low-intensity fire. 
  • Smoke Impacts: With a westerly wind forecast, smoke should move northeast towards Schultz Pass. Cooling temperatures in the evenings will cause smoke to settle in the low-lying areas surrounding the burn, potentially impacting Doney Park, Baderville, Fort Valley, the U.S. Highway 180 corridor and Rio de Flag river drainage.
  • Closures/Restrictions: The Arizona National Scenic Trail will be rerouted during the burn operations for visitor’s safety.

 

Victorine

  • When: Monday-Thursday (Nov. 4-7).
  • Where: Approximately 6.5 miles southeast of the Mogollon Rim Ranger District office, west of Leonard Canyon. GPS: 34.540829, -111.104980
  • Size: 2,900 acres total. Daily acreage varies upon the conditions. Day 1 is planned for 600 acres.
  • Duration: This is a 4-day burn operation.
  • Type of Burn: This is a broadcast maintenance burn using drip torches. This burn operation will reduce the chance of catastrophic wildfire, protect private property, benefit wildlife habitat and improve forest health.
  • Smoke Impacts: Daytime winds are forecast from the southwest. Smoke should lift and disperse toward the northeast of the project area during the day. Overnight smoke could settle in the local burn area, Blue Ridge communities, and will probably drain down East Clear Creek. Smoke may end up in the eastern side of the Verde Valley until daytime temperatures rise enough to lift the smoke into the transport winds.
  • Closures/Restrictions: None expected.
  • Additional Information: Each day the burn block will be ignited independently after the project's burn prescription and smoke impacts are evaluated.

 

Slate 4

  • When: Possibly Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (Nov. 5-7), dependent on weather conditions and possible smoke impacts. An alternative to this burn is the Mint 4 & 5 project listed below.
  • Where: Approximately 3 miles northeast of Kendrick Park. GPS: 35.437863, -111.705663
  • Size: 2,528 acres total. Daily burn blocks will be smaller.
  • Duration: This will be a 2- or 3-day operation.
  • Method/Type of burn: This is an initial-entry broadcast burn using drip torches and helicopter aerial ignitions. The use of a helicopter is to ensure the burn is conducted in a quicker timeframe, as well as access areas typically unreachable for firefighters. The burn operation will reduce the chance of catastrophic wildfire, improve forest health and protect private property.
  • Smoke Impacts: Due to this being an initial-entry broadcast burn, smoke will be thicker than normal, as forest fuels will be dense. Smoke is forecast to move toward the northeast, away from Kendrick Park and the U.S. Hwy 180 corridor. Cooling temperatures in the evenings will cause smoke to settle in the low-lying areas surrounding the burn impacting Kendrick Park, White Horse Park and the U.S. Hwy 180 and 89 north corridors.
  • Closures/Restrictions: The Arizona National Scenic Trail will be rerouted during the burn operations for visitor’s safety.

 

Mint 4 & 5 (Alternate to Slate 4)

  • When: Possibly Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (Nov. 5-7) dependent on weather conditions and smoke impacts. This operation is an alternative to the Slate 4 burn operation.
  • Where: Approximately 31 miles south of Flagstaff, immediately south of Mormon Lake Village. GPS: 34.848744, -111.452362
  • Size: 754 acres total, burning 322 acres the first day.
  • Duration: If selected as the alternate, this will be a 2- or 3-day operation.
  • Method/Type of burn: This is a broadcast maintenance burn using drip torches. The burn operation will reduce the chance of catastrophic wildfire, improve forest health and protect private property.
  • Smoke Impacts: Smoke forecast is to move toward the west and southwest away from Bear Park community and the Lake Mary Road corridor. Cooling temperatures in the evenings will cause smoke to settle in the low-lying areas surrounding the burn, potentially effecting Bear Park, Mormon Lake Village and other communities near the Lake Mary Road corridor.
  • Closures/Restrictions: None expected. 

 

Notifications of upcoming prescribed burns are provided regularly by news releases throughout the season. Timely updates about ignitions and whether or not a project is cancelled can be found on the Forest's social media sites:

 

 


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