Prescribed burns are scheduled this week for the Payson, Pine and Strawberry areas by the Tonto National Forest officials.
If weather conforms to optimum prescribed burning conditions including, ideal temperature, wind speed and direction, and fuel moisture content, the Payson Ranger District fire personnel will begin burning up to 70 acres of vegetative debris piles between Pine and Strawberry on the east side of Highway 87 during the week of Tuesday, Feb. 19 through Saturday, Feb. 23.
Residents and visitors to the area can expect to see heavy smoke each day of the burning operation. The smoke will travel to the northeast, then up and over the Mogollon Rim.
Fire personnel will mitigate the anticipated heavy smoke by curtailing burning operations earlier than usual each day. Each evening, diurnal air is expected to move light to moderate amounts of smoke down slope toward the communities of Pine and Strawberry, officials said.
Fire personnel said they appreciate the patience and understanding that Pine and Strawberry area residents have shown recently, Feb. 11 through 16, when heavy smoke from a prescribe burning operation eliminated 151 critical acres of dangerous fuels in the Hardscrabble Road area.
Also on tap, firefighters will burn seven acres of vegetative debris piles southwest of the Payson Golf Course during this week, beginning Tuesday and lasting through Saturday, Feb. 23.
Residents and visitors to the area can expect to see light smoke from the prescribed burning operation.