The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests Black Mesa Ranger District (BMRD) plans to burn piles along the eastern boundary of the Slim Fire area from 2017. The piles are along Forest Roads 170G, 172F, and 172C approximately 3 miles north of Forest Lakes. This pile burn is a follow up to previous slash created from the Slim Fire.
If conditions allow, the BMRD will also be burning piles within portions of the Fulton Timber Sale-Unit 4 along Forest Road 171. This pile burn will be implemented to reduce slash on the ground created by logging operations.
Ignitions will occur if weather permits starting February 22, and will run through March 2. Smoke will most likely be seen from Forest Lakes, along State Highway 260, and the Young Highway 151.
Prescribed burning provides many benefits and is essential to maintaining healthy forest ecosystems. It provides habitat diversity, recycles plant nutrients into the soil and encourages new growth for a variety of plants used by wildlife and livestock. Pile burning allows land managers to reduce forest fuels and provide communities with increased protection from future wildfires. Prescribed fire operations are subject to cancelation due to unfavorable weather conditions.
All prescribed burns including pile burns, are approved through the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) before ignition begins. The ADEQ monitors air quality and determines whether or not it will be a good day for smoke dispersion. Although smoke from prescribed fire can still be noticeable, it is usually for a shorter time and considerably less smoke than wildfires produce. If you are sensitive to smoke or have respiratory problems, stay indoors if possible.
For questions or concerns please contact the Black Mesa Ranger District at (928) 535-7300, or dial 311 to reach the Northeastern Arizona Public Information System. Also, check out our website at www.fs.usda.gov/asnf or follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/apachesitgreavesnfs/