Area Burns

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Wildland firefighters plan more prescribed fire operations this week near Pine. Prescribed fire is always dependent on optimum weather conditions prior to ignition.

The Payson Ranger District will have prescribed fire operations through Friday west of Pine in the Camp Geronimo, Geronimo Estates and East Bray Creek area.

Firefighters expect moderate to heavy smoke each day of the operation. Most smoke will dissipate by evening with daily air flow moving the residual smoke down Pine Creek and Strawberry Creek.

“Our goal is to eliminate surface fuels and reduce catastrophic wildfire danger,” said Gary Roberts, District Fire Prevention Officer. “The prescription burn will stimulate valuable nutrient release back into the soil.”

By eliminating dense and dying fuels on the forest floor, the prescribed fire will allow for accelerated decomposition of vegetative debris. This makes the soil more fertile.

“We have burned 4,320 acres with prescribed fire since last October,” Roberts continued. “We are closing in on our goal of burning a total of 5,000 acres before the start of the active fire season.”

Last week (January 26 – 29) firefighters treated critical acreage south of Round Valley and south of Oxbow Estates.

For information about the prescribed burns, please call the Payson Ranger District at 928-474-7900.

Residents can also stay updated on forest prescribed burns at www.fs.fed.us/r3/tonto. To report a wildland fire, the fire emergency number is 480-457-1555, or 866-746-6516.

General prescribe burn information

The prescribed burn allows fire managers to take advantage of fire’s natural function in the ecosystem – reducing accumulated fuels on the forest floor, recycling nutrients into the soil, and protecting the greater area from future high-intensity wildland fires.

Reintroducing fire to fire-dependent ecosystems benefits wildlife and livestock by creating more palatable and diverse vegetation. The burns are conducted to emulate natural fire patterns and create a mosaic of burned and unburned areas across the landscape.

Prescribed fires are always dependent on weather conditions. Factors considered prior to each prescribed fire ignition include relative humidity, ideal temperature, wind speed and direction, fuel moisture content, and much more. All of these requirements are considered to obtain the optimum prescribed burning scenario.

Optimum burning conditions are central to ensuring a prescribed fire accomplishes the fire hazard reduction and forest health objectives, including assurance that prescribed fire remains inside designated boundaries.

Before all prescribed burning operations, air approval is obtained from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to assure adequate smoke dispersal.

Burn at roosevelt Firefighters plan prescribed burns near Roosevelt Lake Wildland firefighters plan more prescribed fire operations this week near Roosevelt Lake. Prescribed fire is always dependent on optimum weather conditions prior to ignition. Tonto Basin Ranger District firefighters are approved to conduct prescribed fire four miles northwest of the visitors’ center at Roosevelt Lake. The five-acre prescribed burn will occur on the north side of Roosevelt Lake. Firefighters will also ignite piles of vegetative debris on the south side of Roosevelt Lake. There are 18 piles in all and firefighters will use ground resources on the prescribed burns. For information about the prescribed burns, please call the Tonto Basin Ranger District at 928-467-3200.

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