Tonto National Forest fire specialists will conduct prescribed fire treatments on approximately 820 acres northeast of Payson, starting on Monday, May 6, and continuing through Tuesday, May 7.
The treatment area is located six miles north of Young, three miles south of Colcord Estates and west of Forest Road 512, commonly referred to as the Young Road.
Residents and visitors to the area can expect to see and smell moderate-to-heavy amounts of smoke during the two day burning operation. Motorists will notice smoke as they travel west on State Highway 260 and drop off the Rim. Smoke will impact the Young Road (Forest Road 512), the OW Ranch and Forest Lakes.
At night, smoke will impact Haigler Creek, Ellinwood Ranch, Ponderosa Springs, and Colcord Estates. Fire operations will end by 4:30 p.m. each afternoon to minimize the impact of smoke. Residual smoke may linger in these areas through Friday, May 10.
Signs will be posted along roads that are likely to be affected by smoke, and motorists are urged to use caution while driving through these areas and slow down for the safety of firefighters and the public.
Broadcast fire treatments are conducted when weather conditions and fuel moisture content in the vegetation are favorable. Low to moderate winds are needed to carry flames and dissipate smoke, and to achieve the beneficial effects sought by land managers.
Tonto fire specialists extend their appreciation to residents and property owners in the Young area for their patience and understanding as specialists work to improve the health of the forest around Rim County communities.
For information about prescribed fire and mechanical fuels reduction projects, contact the Payson Ranger District at (928) 474-7900. Residents may also stay updated on Tonto prescribed fires at www.inciweb.nwcg.org/incident/4657/.