March 31, 2009
Crews from the Payson Ranger District of the Tonto National Forest burned off brush and slash piles on 6,200 acres around Payson, Pine and Strawberry, rushing to create a buffer before the onset of this year’s fire season. Since 2001, the district has thinned or burned 44,000 acres.
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Prescribed burn season tally — 6,200 acres
The Payson Ranger District this year burned three times as many acres of brush and debris piles as it planned, buying another precious year of breathing space for some of the most fire-threatened communities in the nation.