Fire managers on the Coconino National Forest plan to take advantage of winter weather conditions by conducting pile burns on both the Flagstaff Ranger District (FRD) and Mogollon Rim Ranger District (MRRD) this week.
The FRD has multiple pile burn projects planned between Monday, Jan. 8 and Friday, Jan. 12.
The district will burn piles located northwest of Flagstaff along Snowbowl Road (37 acres) and at Hotshot Ranch (5 acres), northeast of Flagstaff at Mount Elden (70 acres) and Elden Springs (80 acres); east of Flagstaff at the Flagstaff Ranger Station; and south of Flagstaff at Mormon Lake Work Center (19 acres) and Dairy Springs (37 acres).
Smoke impacts are expected to remain light throughout the course of the project work, though minor impact may be felt to surrounding communities and roadways.
The MRRD will conduct two pile burns this week, including the Natural Tanks piles (30 acres) located 4 miles northeast of Clints Well and the Baker Butte piles (500 acres) located 8 miles southwest of Clints Well.
Smoke will be visible from state Route 87, but impact is expected to be light and short in duration with minimal community impact.
There are no anticipated road or trail closures due to any of the pile burn projects. Please refrain from calling dispatch lines if you see smoke from these pile burns so lines can remain open for any emergencies.
Burn plans may change at any time due to wind and weather conditions and forecasts.
Pile burns are an important part of forest restoration projects planned in accordance with the Forest Service’s 10-year Wildfire Crisis Strategy.
Pile burns work alongside both prescribed fire and mechanical thinning to remove fuels such as woody debris and logging scraps from the forest floor during times of opportune weather.
Fire managers make every effort to effectively plan and execute burn plans at times when weather allows for smoke impacts to be minimized and transport up and over communities.
For more information about prescribed burns and why wildfire is a necessary part of this ecosystem, please visit our Prescribed Fires and Smoke web page and view the video Misconceptions and Benefits of Fire.