Tonto National Forest fire specialists will take advantage of current weather conditions to burn 20 acres of vegetative debris piles in the Bonita Creek area, and 35 acres of vegetative debris piles in the Long/Mead Ranch area on Friday and Saturday, August 26 and 27, 2016.
Residents and visitors to the area can expect to see and smell moderate amounts of smoke during the two day burning operations. To minimize the impact of smoke, fire specialists will terminate ignitions by 2 p.m. each day. Signs will be posted on roads likely to be affected by smoke. Motorists are urged to use caution and slow down for the safety of firefighters and the public.
During the day, smoke from both the Bonita Creek and Long/Mead burns will move to the northeast up and over the Mogollon Rim. During the evening, residual smoke from the Bonita Creek Burn will settle into the Bonita Creek area, and move down into Jim Roberts Draw from the Long/Mead Ranch Burn. Residual smoke from these burns may linger in the area through Tuesday, August 30, 2016.
Prescribed fire treatments are always dependent on conditions such as wind speed and direction, temperature, relative humidity, fuel moisture content, and other variables. Prescribed fire gives land managers the important option of treating areas with fire under favorable conditions, which helps to protect the natural and cultural resources, while decreasing danger to the public and firefighters.