Fuels reduction efforts will be continuing on both the Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts beginning Friday (11/9/2018) of this week. Both districts will be conducting broadcast burns that could extend over the next several days as environmental and weather conditions permit.
The 12,000 acre Sunflower Prescribed Fire Project located approximately 8 miles southeast of Williams has been ongoing over the past year with nearly 7000 acres successfully treated to date. Aerial ignitions will continue as crews work toward completing the remaining 5000 acres on this project.
Fire managers will also ignite a 245 acre unit approximately 3 miles south of Tusayan on the Reed Prescribed Fire Project beginning Friday and may treat an additional 354 acres just west of the town over the weekend ahead.
Opportunities to use prescribed fire to accomplish forest restoration objectives only exist during specific times of the year. Environmental conditions in the forest as well as precise weather patterns determine when these opportunities arise. The fall months usually present the most favorable time of year to achieve the most desirable effects for successful treatments.
During prescribed firing operations, campers and hunters are asked to avoid establishing campsites near the fire activity and seek alternative sites away from active burn areas.
Northeast winds are forecasted for several days as these burns begin which should alleviate impacts and transport smoke away from developed areas at both of these project locations.
Smoke may be visible from the communities of Parks, Sherwood Forest Estates, Garland Prairie, Bellemont, Grand Canyon Village, Tusayan, and Valle.
Officials understand that smoke impacts to air quality may be unpleasant at times, however they can significantly reduce the amount and limit the duration more effectively using prescribed methods as opposed to an uncontrolled wildfire situation with long term effects.
During operations, fire personnel and vehicles working in these vicinities will be visible to the public. Motorists are reminded to slow down and drive with heightened caution when passing through active project areas.
All prescribed burning on the Kaibab National Forest is subject to approval by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. For additional information on the Smoke Management Division of the ADEQ and to view prescribed burns authorizations, please visit www.azdeq.gov/environ/air/smoke/index.html.
Information about prescribed fire projects on the Kaibab National Forest can be obtained through the following sources:
Kaibab National Forest Website; www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab
Kaibab National Forest Fire Information Phone Line (928) 635-8311.
For information about air quality and health awareness visit bit.ly/SmokeHealthAwareness