Fire managers on the Lakeside Ranger District plan to implement prescribed fire operations on the Brown Creek, Cabin, Ortega Draw, and Zrama slash piles. Piles are composed of timber slash created from thinning projects or wildfire suppression activities and are treated to reduce hazardous fuel accumulations. Prescribed fire operations are contingent on multiple factors, including favorable weather conditions, air quality, and resource availability. Pile burning is slated to commence on Jan. 9, 2024 and is expected to be completed by the end of January. The total project area is 168 acres.
- The Brown Creek project area is 8 miles southwest of Vernon, AZ. The project boundary is County Road 3144, Forest Road (FR) 45e, and FR 45L1.
- The Cabin project area is 2 miles northeast of Lakeside, AZ. The project boundary is the Osprey Connector Trail, FR 9712C, and FR 45.
- The Ortega Draw project area is 2 miles south of Vernon, AZ. The project boundary is FR 44, FR 45E1, and County Road 3144.
- The Zrama project area is 8 miles southwest of Vernon, AZ. The project boundary is County Road 3144, FR 283, and FR 267A1.
The objective for these prescribed fires is to reduce hazardous fuel accumulations and minimize the risk of high-severity wildfires, aligning with the Forest Service’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy.
Smoke may be visible from Highway 60, Highway 77, and Highway 260. Smoke should rise and disperse quickly with forecasted winds, and significant smoke should only last a couple of hours during initial ignition and then dissipate quickly with very little smoke in the evenings. Travelers are advised to use extra caution when driving in these areas during project implementation.
Air quality information is available at https://www.airnow.gov/. Visit the A-S National Forests website and follow us on Facebook and X (Twitter).