Prescribed Fire Treatments Planned For Gordon Canyon Estates

Photo by Andy Towle. |

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Payson, Ariz. (November 5, 2010) – Prescribed fire operations are planned for 995 acres in the Gordon Canyon Estates of Payson, Monday, Nov. 8 through Friday, Nov. 12.

Fire personnel will seek to minimize smoke impact by treating 150-200 acres per day, ending fire ignitions each day by 3 p.m. Residents and visitors to the area can expect to see and smell moderate amounts of smoke in the area through Nov. 14.

During the first half of the week, more than 500 acres will be treated southwest of Colcord Road. During the day, southwest winds are predicted to push smoke up and over the Mogollon Rim.

During the latter half of the week, more than 490 acres will be treated between Hwy. 260 and the Colcord Road. During the day, northeast winds are predicted to move smoke away from Rim Country communities. Diurnal airflow in the evening hours will move smoke into the Gordon Canyon Estates area.

Fire personnel may also conduct prescribe fire operations on 250 acres in the Verde Glen area during the first half of next week. Residents and visitors to the area can expect to see or smell light to moderate amounts of smoke from the prescribed operation.

During the Day, southwest winds are predicted to push smoke up and over the Mogollon Rim during the day. Diurnal airflow in the evening hours will move residual smoke down the East Verde Rive corridor and possibly in Beaver Valley and Whispering Pines.

“Since 2001, prescribed fire has been a critical component in the district’s long-term fuels mitigation strategy,” said Gary Roberts, district fire prevention officer. “Aggressive suppression action is taken if the fire displays behavior that does not meet resource management objectives.”

District fire officials also plan to conduct a broadcast fire treatment of more than 1,200 acres west of Whispering Pines in the Bear Canyon area and south of Control Road 64, Nov. 15-19. District fire specialists successfully treated 727 acres last week in the Geronimo Estates area.

Broadcast fire treatments typically continue for several days or weeks and generally are conducted when grasses have dried and cured and the weather is cooler. Windy conditions are often needed to carry flames in an open area to achieve beneficial effects desired by land managers. Wooded areas usually need less wind to accomplish the desired results from a broadcast fire treatment.

Prescribed fire operations are always dependent on optimum weather conditions such as temperature, relative humidity, fuel moisture content, and wind speed and direction prior to ignition.

For information about prescribed fire and mechanical fuels reduction operations, please call the Payson Ranger District at 928-474-7900. Residents can also stay updated on forest prescribed fires at www.fs.usda.gov/Tonto. To report a wildland fire, the fire emergency number is 480-457-1555, or 866-746-6516.

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