Verde Glen residents will see smoke this week as the U.S. Forest Service plans to burn 600 acres in the area starting Tuesday. Crews will also be out clearing debris piles in the Payson, Pine/Strawberry and Christopher Creek areas all month long.
On Monday, three contract companies will begin removing vegetative debris piles located throughout the Payson Ranger District, said Gary Roberts, fire prevention officer with the Payson Ranger District.
Using machines, crews will grind and mulch seven to 40 acres of debris daily in this 2,300-acre project.
Machinery noise is expected from sunup to sundown, four to six days each week.
Crews will remove piles in the Payson area starting Monday and work their way to the Pine/Strawberry area by Monday, Nov. 23. Crews will finish up in the Christopher Creek/Hunter Creek area starting on Tuesday, Dec. 1.
In the Verde Glen area, a 600-acre prescribed burn will kick up smoke starting Tuesday into Saturday.
Most smoke will dissipate by sundown and is expected to travel down the East Verde River.
There is a chance the prescribed burn will be canceled if weather conditions are not optimal, Roberts said.
“Prescribed fire gives land managers and fire specialists the option of burning under the right conditions, supporting protection of valuable natural and cultural resources, while ensuring public and firefighter safety,” Roberts said. “The growth, rate of spread and smoke from a prescription fire are closely monitored. Aggressive suppression action is taken if the fire displays behavior that does not meet resource management objectives.”
For information about the prescribed fire and mechanical fuels reduction operations, contact the Payson Ranger District at (928) 474-7900.