The Clifton Ranger District on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests plans to begin the Mesa Re-Entry prescribed burn starting April 10. This burn was planned two weeks ago, but had to be postponed due to unfavorable weather conditions. The project will take two weeks to complete, depending on weather conditions. When ignitions have been completed personnel will remain on scene monitoring the burn as needed.
The 5,605 acre burn area is bounded to the north by Pine Flat Rd (FSR 515), to the east by U.S. Highway 191, to the south by Upper Eagle Creek Rd (FSR 215), and to the west by the Sheep Wash Canyon. Fuel types include grass, juniper, oak, pinyon pine, and ponderosa pine. The burn is intended to reduce canopy cover and maintain areas of reduced canopy cover achieved in past prescribed burns. It will also reduce juniper re-sprouts and enhance mule deer, white-tail deer, turkey, pronghorn antelope, and javelina habitat.
Smoke will be visible from Morenci, the community of Eagle Creek, and U.S. Highway 191. Motorists are advised to drive safely when approaching areas where prescribed fire activities may limit visibility and/or hinder fire personnel operations.
All prescribed burns are approved through the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) before ignition begins. The ADEQ monitors air quality and determines whether or not it will be a good day for smoke dispersion. Although smoke from prescribed fire can still be noticeable, it is usually for a shorter time and considerably less smoke than wildfires produce. If you are sensitive to smoke or have respiratory problems, stay indoors if possible.
Prescribed burning enhances wildlife habitat and watershed conditions, while promoting forest health and protecting communities from the effects of future high severity wildfire.
Questions or concerns contact Justin Thompson on the Clifton Ranger District at 928-687-8613 or visit the ASNFs website at: www.fs.usda.gov/asnf