Fire crews completed 1,209 acres of ignitions on the Dipping Vat prescribed fire on Nov. 8, 2023. Burn operations were successful in cleaning up the light to moderate understory, dead and down fuels, and debris from prior logging operations. Dipping Vat, part of the Lakeside East prescribed fire project area, was essential in reducing the risk of high-severity wildfires near adjacent communities in the Wildland Urban Interface.
Prescribed fire operations are expected to resume sometime after the Thanksgiving holiday, if and when weather and other environmental conditions permit. The Ortega and a portion of the Doyle burn unit remains untreated at this time.
Prescribed fires are an effective tool for restoring fire-dependent ecosystems, improving forest health, removing hazardous fuels, increasing firefighter safety, enhancing wildlife habitat, and protecting communities and watersheds.
Landscape treatments such as these planned on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests align with the Forest Service's 10-year Wildfire Crisis Strategy, which aims to increase the use of fire on the landscape and other treatments to improve forest health.
Visit the A-S National Forests website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/asnf and follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/apachesitgreavesnfs.