Tonto National Forest fire specialists will be conducting a 408-acre broadcast burn near 512 Road, also known as Young Road, and the 411C Road on Monday, Nov. 8, 2021.
Residents and visitors to the area can expect to see and smell moderate amounts of smoke during the one-day operation. During the day, smoke will impact the 512 Road, the OW Ranch, Forest Lakes and Canyon Fish Hatchery. Residual smoke from this one-day prescribed burn operation may linger in these areas through Friday, Nov. 12.
To minimize the impact of smoke, fire personnel will terminate ignitions by 3 p.m. Signs will be posted on roads that are likely to be affected by smoke. Motorists are urged to slow down and use caution while driving through these areas for the safety of firefighters, themselves and the public.
Broadcast burns are conducted where there is little or no tree canopy such as grasslands, oak woodlands and shrub lands. These treatments are conducted only when temperature, wind speed and direction, fuel moisture content, relative humidity and other variables meet prescription requirements for a safe and effective operation.
The Forest Service conducts broadcast burns to reduce the build-up of hazardous fuel loads such as leaf litter, grasses and shrubs to prevent the risk of catastrophic wildfires. In addition, these burns improve wildlife habitat and forest health. Certain criteria has to be met in order for a broadcast burn to take place, including smoke dispersal conditions, weather, adequate staffing and fuel moisture. These are all outlined in a burn plan that is thoroughly reviewed before implementation.
For more information contact the Payson Ranger Station at (928) 474-7900 or for news and information about the Tonto National Forest, follow us on Facebook @TontoNationalForest or Twitter @TontoForest.