More prescribed burns are planned near Whispering Pines and Pine starting Monday.
A maintenance prescribed fire of 1,000 acres west of Whispering Pines off Control Road 64 in the Verde Glen and Washington Park areas is currently kicking up a ton of smoke.
In the evening hours, smoke will move down the East Verde River.
West of Pine, fire officials say they plan to burn 1,000 acres in the Hardscrabble Mesa area. The objective of the prescribed fire is to reduce hazardous fuels.
Residents and visitors to the area can expect to see moderate to heavy amounts of smoke until sundown during each day of the operation, which is expected to end Sunday. In the evening hours, residual smoke will move down Hardscrabble Creek.
“On the Payson Ranger District, the wise use of fire is an important tool used to restore a healthy balance to our forest ecosystems while reducing catastrophic wildfire danger,” stated Gary Roberts, Payson Ranger District, Fire Prevention Officer.
In the Gordon Canyon Estates area, a fuel break was started last week. The hazardous fuels reduction work will encompass 345 strategic acres and will be completed by the end of December. Residents and visitors to the area can expect to hear chainsaws during the day until the project is completed.
For information about the prescribed fire, please call the Payson Ranger District at