Prescribed burn planned for Sierra Vista Ranger District

Forest Service
Coronado National Forest
Southwestern Region
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Prescribed burn planned for Sierra Vista Ranger District

Smoke expected in the area and potential detour on Forest Road 61

Tucson, Arizona, February 24, 2021 - The Coronado National Forest, Sierra Vista Ranger District is planning to conduct a prescribed burn next month in coordination with Arizona Game and Fish Department, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, The National Park Service, The Bureau of Land Management, and Fort Huachuca.   

The Border II Prescribed Burn is scheduled to occur in early to mid-March 2021 depending on weather conditions and if prescription parameters are met.  The 1,821-acre burn unit is located on the west side of the Huachuca Mountains approximately 1.5 miles west of Montezuma Pass Overlook. The burn unit will encompass National Forest Service lands from National Forest System Road (NFSR) 61 south to the International Border, east of NFSR 5714, and west of NFSR 4726. 

To ensure public and firefighter safety, traffic on NFSR 61 may be temporarily restricted or detoured during ignition periods due to the potential for smoke to drift across the road causing unsafe driving conditions.  Smoke from the burn will occur during ignition operations and may be seen from Sonoita, Palominas, Sierra Vista, Hereford, and is anticipated to be sporadic for a few days following the burn. 

The Border II Prescribed Burn will directly benefit the Sierra Vista Ranger District by addressing the purposes of the Huachuca FireScape Project environmental analysis, a multi-agency collaborative analysis to integrate the fire and fuels management activities of three Federal agencies (Forest Service; National Park Service; Department of Defense) across approximately 400,000 acres. 

The purposes of the Huachuca FireScape Project are to reduce the costs, resource damage, and threats to public and firefighter safety from future wildland fires. Other goals are to restore and sustain ecological processes in fire-dependent ecosystems, create and maintain fuel conditions that produce manageable fire behavior and intensity and encourage the restoration of vegetation and fuel conditions toward their historic conditions and ecological resiliency. 

For more information contact the Sierra Vista Ranger District located at 4070 S. Avenida Saracino in Hereford, Arizona.  The office is currently closed due to COVID-19 precautions, however a staff member can be reached by calling (520) 378-0311 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.