Payson Ranger District fire specialists plan to eliminate nearly 300 acres of debris piles within the Pine, Geronimo Estates and Christopher Creek areas Monday, Jan. 31 through Friday, Feb. 4.
Residents and visitors to these areas can expect to see and smell moderate to heavy amounts of smoke each day of the operation. To minimize the impact of smoke, district personnel will end ignitions each day by 3:30 p.m.
Airflow and winds predicted for next week will move smoke to the south, southeast, and southwest. Diurnal airflow in the evening hours will move residual smoke down drainages in that area.
The communities of Geronimo Estates, Flowing Springs and East Verde Estates can expect to be impacted by smoke each day and evening during fire operations. District fire specialists shortened last week’s prescribed fire operations in this area to provide relief from smoke for area residents.
“We completed the lion’s share of debris pile elimination in and around the community of Pine last year,” said Gary Roberts, fire prevention officer. “This week fire personnel will seek to finish last year’s operation by eliminating a few scattered, remaining debris piles in the Pine area.”
Fire specialists plan to also eliminate vegetative debris piles in and around the Christopher Creek area. Smoke is predicted to move to the south, southeast, and southwest each day of the prescribed fire operations.
Residents and visitors to the area can expect to see and smell moderate to heavy amounts of smoke each day of the prescribed fire operation. Cold, inert winter air may cause residual smoke to linger in the two aforementioned areas in the evening hours.
When fire operations begin, signs will be posted along roads that are likely to be affected by smoke. Motorists are urged to use caution while driving through these areas and to slow down for the safety of firefighters and the public.
Fire treatments are always dependent on optimal weather conditions before ignitions begin, such as relative humidity, temperature, fuel moisture content, wind speed and direction, and other variables.
For information about prescribed fire and mechanical fuels reduction operations, please call the Payson Ranger District at (928) 474-7900.