Recent wet weather has presented favorable opportunities for fire crews to burn piles on the Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest. Fire personnel plan to begin work today in the Hardy project area, which is located about 10 miles northeast of the City of Williams.
Crews plan to ignite about 546 acres of piles along the south side of County Road 141 east of the Spring Valley area. The pile units are near Hardy Hill west of Sitgreaves Mountain. Objectives for these pile burns include reducing fuels and improving overall forest health and resiliency.
Piles typically burn rapidly and produce far less smoke for shorter durations than larger broadcast burns over the landscape. Minimal to light smoke impacts are anticipated. However, air quality will be monitored closely and actions taken as necessary to minimize the effects on residential developed areas. There are no road or trail closures expected with the pile burns planned for the Williams Ranger District.
The Kaibab National Forest is part of a fire-adapted ecosystem and is dependent on fire to play a natural role in maintaining forest health. Piles are the result of forest restoration projects, and the purpose of burning them is to reduce forest fuels that could contribute to high-intensity wildfires. Fire managers will continue to seek opportunities throughout the winter to conduct pile burns as conditions allow.
The public can view approved prescribed fires for any given day on the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s website at https://smoke.azdeq.gov/. Prescribed fires on the Kaibab National Forest begin with the forest’s designator “KNF.” To learn more about smoke and public health, visit http://bit.ly/SmokeHealthAwareness.
Additional fire information for Kaibab National Forest can be obtained through the following sources: