Fire specialists from the Tonto National Forest (NF) will conduct prescribed fire treatments in Christopher Creek Campground and Hunter Creek on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 8 and 9. This 112-acre treatment will include burning debris piles in these areas.
During the day smoke will impact visitors to Christopher Creek Campground and Hunter Creek. Moderate amounts of smoke will be visible from State Highway 260. Smoke should dissipate quickly after burning operations cease; however residual smoke may linger into Wednesday, Dec 10.
Crews will continue efforts to restore the forest by conducting a 112-acre burn treatment around Hunter and Christopher Creek on Monday and Tuesday, December 8 and 9. Moderate amounts of smoke may be visible from State Highway 260 during both days.
Crews will move to Tonto Village and Thompson Draw #2 on Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 9 and 10. This 124-acre treatment will be visible from State Highway 260 and the Control Road, with moderate amounts of smoke being visible while crews are burning.
Starting on Dec 10, fire crews will move into Hunter Creek, Christopher Creek, R-C Boy Scout Camp, Camp Tontizona, and Kohls Ranch. Moderate amounts of smoke will impact these areas during the day, but should dissipate quickly once burning operations end on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Dec. 11, fire personnel will treat 156 acres around the Ellison Creek Summer Homes. Moderate smoke will be visible on the Control Road, and will impact both the Ellison Creek Summer Home area and Ellison Creek Estates.
Prescribed fire is a key restoration tool that, together with mechanical treatments, can reduce the current dense, overstocked forest conditions. Residents and visitors can expect to see and smell moderate amounts of smoke each day during burning operations. To minimize the smoke impact, fire managers will terminate ignitions by 3 p.m., however residual smoke may linger in the area through the next couple of days following burning operations.
Signs will be posted on roads that are likely to be affected by smoke. Motorists are urged to use caution while driving thru these areas and to slow down for the safety of firefighters and the public.
Prescribed fire treatments are always dependent on weather conditions, such as temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction. Broadcast fire treatments typically continue for several days and are conducted when fuel moisture content of the vegetation and weather conditions are favorable. Low-to-moderate winds are needed to carry flames and to dissipate smoke during and after ignition operations and to achieve beneficial effects sought by land managers.