Controlled Burn Raises Plume Of Smoke

The Forest Service this week started the first in a series of controlled burns near Young that will cause a plume of smoke like this one visible from Payson off and on all month.

The Forest Service this week started the first in a series of controlled burns near Young that will cause a plume of smoke like this one visible from Payson off and on all month. Photo by Andy Towle. |

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Pleasant Valley Ranger District fire specialists this week started burning brush and tree thickets on the first of about 2,500 acres, raising a huge plume of smoke visible from all over Rim Country.

The controlled burn in the Chamberlin Analysis area will continue through January in the Tonto National Forest. Crews hope to treat several hundred acres each day, dependent on air quality conditions.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality must approve each day’s operations to avoid creating any possible health problems for residents. The Chamberlain prescribed fire area will be along both sides of Forest Road 512 and contains the following planning units (or blocks):

Rose Block boundaries: The northern boundary is Forest Road (FR) 188 east to FR 109, south to FR 512, then northerly to the junction with FR 188.

200 Block boundaries: The northern boundary is FR 291, east to the Colcord Estates entrance, south to the two-track road (unnamed) that proceeds west from the private land boundary, to FR 200, then north to the junction of Forest Roads 200 and 291.

Powerline Block Phase 3 boundaries: The northern boundary is FR 291, west to FR 291A southeasterly to a handline located in section 6, easterly to FR 291G north to its junction with the 291 road.

Colcord Lookout Block: The northern boundary is FR 291, easterly to FR 291A south and west to FR 3171 west and north to its junction with FR 291.

The first two phases of the Powerline block were completed this week: The northern boundary is FR 291 east to FR 512 south to FR 411C to the powerline right-of-way, then north to the junction with FR 291.

Residual smoke will be seen for a several days after ignition.

Prescribed fire treatments are always dependent on optimal weather conditions, such as fuel moisture content, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and directions, and other variables.

For more information, call the Pleasant Valley Ranger District at (928) 462-4300. Residents can also stay updated on prescribed fires at www.fs.usda.gov/tonto.

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