The Black Mesa Ranger District plans to conduct a prescribed burn within the Heber-Overgaard Green Waste Site on Forest Road 488F Rd in Township 12N, Range 17 East, and Section 16 starting Monday, October 15, just north of Overgaard on State Highway 277. Smoke will be seen from Highways 260, 277, and 377 and will have light to moderate impacts to Heber and those highways throughout the week but should decrease significantly each evening after the primary ignition occurs.
The Brush pit will be closed to the public for at least one week, and possibly two, to allow slash material to consume before new material is allowed back into the area. This will also provide for the safety and welfare of the general public as the area will be very hot due to the high amount of accumulated slash material over the summer months. A Forest Service dozer will be on scene to help consolidate the pile as it continues to consume to help decrease the amount of time it will take the pile to burn. Once ignition occurs, crews will be on scene from ignition until there is no longer a threat of escape from the project boundaries.
All prescribed 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.
Please contact the Black Mesa Ranger District at 928-535-7300 with questions or concerns, or visit the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests website at: www.fs.usda.gov/asnf