Fire managers on the Alpine Ranger District have completed prescribed fire pile burns across 1,165 acres in the West Escudilla Restoration Project where timber thinning was conducted. The Pace Creek and ELC units were successfully burned and met the objectives of treating cumulative fuel loading and reducing potential threats from wildfires.
The remaining 49 acres to be burned in the Loco Knoll unit is located 11 miles north of Alpine and 14 miles southeast of Springerville. Slash piles are east of Forest Road (FR) 275, along FR 8889D, north of FR 851, and west of the Arizona-New Mexico State line.
Ignitions on the Loco Knoll project, weather and site conditions permitting, is slated to begin February 6, and is expected to be completed by February 9, 2024 if weather conditions allow.
Smoke will be visible and may impact Highway 180/191 and the communities of Alpine and Nutrioso. Drivers are cautioned that visibility may be reduced, especially in the overnight hours when smoke settles near the ground.
Landscape treatments on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests align with the Forest Service's 10-year Wildfire Crisis Strategy, which aims to increase the use of fire on the landscape and other treatments to improve forest health.
Air quality information is available at https://www.airnow.gov/. Visit the A-S National Forests website and follow us on Facebook and X (Twitter).