The Mogollon Rim Ranger District is planning to burn about 2,000 acres of light grasses and Juniper tree fuels approximately 16 miles north and east of the Blue Ridge Ranger Station on State Highway 87 on March 20 or 21 (Monday or Tuesday) if weather cooperates.
The burn location is on the far eastern boundary of the Coconino National Forest, one mile southeast of State Highway 87.
Fire managers are waiting for the correct weather and winds to ignite this area, as winds need to be southwesterly to minimize smoke impact to drivers on the highway and communities.
Prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire-adapted ecosystems. These burns will mimic natural fires by reducing hazardous fuels accumulations, and reintroduce fire into a fire dependent system; recycling nutrients and increasing habitat diversity. Each prescribed burn is designed to meet specific objectives.
Benefits from these treatments help to reduce hazardous fuels adjacent to the wildland urban interface and increase ecosystem and community resilience. Prescribed fires are managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.
All prescribed fire activity is dependent on the availability of personnel and equipment, weather forecasts, fuels moisture levels and conditions that minimize smoke impacts as best as possible and approval from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (www.azdeq.gov).
The public and media can get quick notification of when a prescribed burn or any other activity is happening on the Coconino National Forest by following us on Twitter at twitter.com/CoconinoNF. When ignition of a prescribed burn begins, we update our Twitter account so the public can know why smoke is in the air and where it is coming from.
Notifications of upcoming prescribed burns are also provided regularly by news releases throughout the season and by the following online resources: