Broadcast fire operations are planned for more than 1,200 acres west of Whispering Pines in the Bear Canyon area and may begin anytime from Monday, Nov. 15 through Wednesday, Nov. 17. Ignitions for prescription fires will end by Friday, Nov. 19.
Residents and visitors can expect to see and smell moderate to heavy amounts of smoke through Sunday, Nov. 21.
If winds come from the southwest, smoke may move up and over the Mogollon Rim. If winds come from the northeast, smoke may move throughout Payson. Diurnal airflow in the evening hours will move residual smoke down the East Verde River corridor toward the communities of East Verde Estates and Flowing Springs.
If optimal weather conditions are present and wind comes from out of the north, district fire officials will return to the Gordon Canyon Estates area to conduct prescribed fire treatments on 500 acres Monday, Nov. 15 and Tuesday, Nov. 16.
Diurnal airflow in the evening hours will move residual smoke down Gordon Canyon into the Colcord Estates and Ponderosa Estates areas.
To minimize the impact of smoke in both locations, fire personnel will end ignitions each day by 3 p.m. When fire operations begin, signs will be posted along the roads that will likely be affected by smoke.
The Payson Ranger District will discontinue prescribed fire treatments from Saturday, Nov. 20 through Monday, Nov. 29. If optimal weather conditions are present, fire treatments will resume in Rim Country on Tuesday, Nov. 30.
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. Wooded areas usually need less wind.
For information about prescribed fire and mechanical fuels reduction operations, 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, call (866) 746-6516.