The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests’ Lakeside Ranger District will continue burning slash piles January 11 and 12, if weather conditions allow, on Timber Knoll and/or in the Upper Rocky Arroyo, Gobbler Timber sale.
The Timber Knoll ignition area is just south of Ojo Bonito Estates. Smoke impact is anticipated along Highway 60 and within the Vernon Community. The Upper Rocky Arroyo, Gobbler Timber sale ignition area is located east of the Pinetop Country Club along Forest Service Road 185 and 9600T. Smoke impact is anticipated along Highways 60 and 260, and within the Pinetop Community. Smoke will may be visible from the communities of Show Low, Pinetop-Lakeside and Vernon.
In the interest of safety, forest visitors are reminded to use caution when traveling in the vicinity of these pile burns 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. Prescribed burning of forest ground fuels also reduces the threat of large scale wildfire impacts to private lands. Crews will be on scene from ignition until there is no longer a threat of escape from the project boundaries. Prescribed fire operations are subject to cancelation due to unfavorable weather conditions.
Air quality considerations are an integral part of prescribed fire, and it is the goal of forest managers to minimize smoke impacts to our communities while still accomplishing forest health and fuels reduction goals. Arizona residents can view air quality across the state using the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Portable Particulate Monitors.
For questions or concerns please contact the Lakeside Ranger District at (928) 368-2100, or call the Northeastern Arizona Public Information System at 928-333-3412.