The Forest Service will set fire to about 1,300 acres this week near Verde Glen along Forest Roads 32 and the Control Road.
The fires should burn off brush and small trees to prevent destructive fires during the hot, dry months of the year. Payson Ranger District fire specialists set one fire on Monday and will spark a second fire on Thursday.
Residents and visitors to the area can expect to see and smell moderate amounts of smoke each day of the operation. To minimize the impact of smoke, fire experts will terminate ignitions by 3 p.m. daily.
During the day, predicted northeast winds will push smoke toward the community of Geronimo Estates.
During the evening hours, wind will probably move residual smoke down the East Verde Corridor and Webber Creek and will impact the communities of Whispering Pines, Geronimo Estates, Beaver Valley, Freedom Acres, Verde Glen and Rim Trail.
Smoke may linger in and around the treated areas through Monday, Jan. 20.
When fire operations begin, signs will be posted along Control Road 64, FR 32, and other roads in the area that are likely 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.
Prescribed fire treatments are always dependent on optimal weather conditions, such as fuel moisture content, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, and other variables.
For further information, please call the Payson Ranger District at (928) 474-7900. Residents can also stay updated on prescribed fires at www.fs.usda.gov/tonto.