Fire specialists will again attempt to burn 210 acres of vegetative debris piles, located about nine miles north of Payson in the vicinity of Shadow Rim Girl Scout Ranch, from Feb. 4-7.
The burn was scheduled to occur Jan. 29-31 but was cancelled as a result of increased fuel moisture due to inclement weather.
Residents and visitors to the area can expect to see and smell light-to-moderate amounts of smoke during the operation. Smoke will impact Shadow Rim, Verde Glen, and Rim Trail during the day. In the evening, smoke will impact Whispering Pines and Beaver Valley. Residual smoke may linger in these areas thru Feb. 9. To minimize smoke impacts, fire personnel will end ignitions by 3 p.m. each day.
Signs will be posted on roads likely to be affected by smoke. The Forest Service urges motorists to use caution when driving through the area, and to slow down for the safety of firefighters working in the area as well as the public.
These burns provide land managers the option of treating areas with favorable conditions, which helps to protect natural and cultural resources while decreasing danger to the public and firefighters.
Firefighters closely monitor the growth, rate of spread, and smoke from prescribed fire burns. Aggressive suppression actions are taken if the fire displays behavior that does not meet resource management objectives.
Tonto officials note that they received permission to conduct prescribed fire burns in specific areas on the forest despite the ongoing legal matter involving a court-ordered injunction on select timber management activities for New Mexico national forests as well as the Tonto National Forest regarding potential effects to the Mexican spotted owl.
These burns enhance range, watershed, and wildlife habitat. Prescribed fires always are dependent on the right conditions which include temperature, wind speed and direction, fuel moisture content, and relative humidity.