The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests’ Lakeside Ranger District will be burning 40 acres of slash piles on February 21 until completed, if conditions allow. The ignition area is on Timber Knoll just south of Ojo Bonito Estates on County Road 3163.
Smoke impact is anticipated along U.S. Highway 60 and within the Vernon Community. In the interest of safety, forest visitors are reminded to use caution when traveling in the vicinity of the pile burn as smoke may reduce visibility in the area.
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 Lakeside Ranger District at (928) 368-2100, 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/