Flagstaff Ranger District fire managers will be conducting a prescribed burn treatment south of Flagstaff on Monday (Dec. 6) to improve forest health and restoration efforts. This effort will provide strategic, vital protection to adjacent private inholdings southwest of the Flagstaff metropolitan area for a locality particularly vulnerable to wildfire.
This 266-acre maintenance burn, deemed the FUI/Mountainaire/3E Burn Project, will take place just south of Forest Road 714, with smoke traveling along prevailing winds. This may potentially impact the Flagstaff metropolitan area during daylight hours, so residents and visitors can expect to see and smell moderate amounts of smoke within this one-day operation. Cooler evening temperatures may cause smoke to settle in low-lying areas surrounding the burn, which can potentially impact the Mountainaire, Kachina and Munds Park communities along the Hwy 17, 40, 89 and Lake Mary Road corridors. Expect smoke to be visible in Flagstaff and off I-17, I-40, Hwy 180, 89 and 89a. Residual smoke may linger in the area for a day or two post-operation. No closures are currently in place for this FUI/Mountainaire/3E Burn Project.
Prescribed burns 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 prescribed 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 have to be met in order for a prescribed burn to take place, including smoke dispersal conditions, weather, and adequate staffing, which are all outlined in a burn plan that is thoroughly reviewed before implementation.
Prescribed burns are always dependent upon approval from Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). The public can view approved prescribed burns on ADEQ’s website at smoke.azdeq.gov. Coconino National Forest burns begin with the designator “COF.”
For more information on why prescribed burns are conducted and how they benefit the landscape and help protect communities, please visit our Prescribed Fire and Forest Health web page.
Notifications of upcoming prescribed burns are provided regularly by news releases throughout the season and by the following online resources:
Coconino NF’s Twitter account: www.twitter.com/CoconinoNF
Coconino NF’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/coconinonf