Prescribed Burn Filling Skies With Smoke

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A prescribed burn north of Payson Airport will continue through this week. Residents, property owners and visitors to Rim Country can expect to see large volumes of black smoke for a brief duration of two to four hours each day and flame lengths of 40 to 50 feet.

A large, landscape-scale prescribed burn of approximately 1,700 acres that was planned for an area of dense and decadent chaparral brush and pinyon-juniper on Tuesday, March 6, was postponed because required standards for safety were not present until Thursday, March 8. The prescribed burn was implemented about a half-mile north of the Payson Airport and Summit Canyon and east of Crackerjack Ridge. The prescribed burn on Thursday, March 8 was successful in breaking up continuous fuels in the lower canyons, but did not achieve the desired acreage for treatment.

Wildland fire personnel returned to the targeted area north of the Payson Airport today and will continue burning through the rest of the week if ideal conditions of relative humidity, temperature, fuel moisture content, wind speed and direction are present.

Prescribed fire allows land managers to burn under the right conditions, enhancing protection of natural and cultural resources while diminishing danger to the public and firefighters. In addition to reducing dense and decadent fuel loading, prescribed fire also accelerates vegetative debris decomposition on the forest floor and decreases competition between woody plants. Prescribed fire also stimulates nutrient release back into the soil, making it a more fertile and vital soil.

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