Fire managers are planning several prescribed burn projects this week across Coconino National Forest that will produce visible smoke near Flagstaff—or possibly the Stoneman Lake area—beginning Wednesday.
These prescribed burns are conducted in order to help protect communities from severe wildfires by reducing forest fuel accumulation in strategic areas around northern Arizona communities, and also reintroduce fire into the Ponderosa pine ecosystem to help restore ecological integrity.
All of the listed projects may not be pursued, as all prescribed burns are dependent upon weather and wind conditions, which can differ drastically across the forest. Prescribed burns area also subject to approval from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, so all or some of them could be cancelled if conditions are not suitable.
Flagstaff Ranger District
Eastside Project (Pine Canyon subdivision area)
When: Planned ignition will be Wednesday (April 19). Ignitions typically begin between 9-10 a.m. and duration is expected to be one day.
Where: Approximately one mile southeast of Flagstaff, near Pine Canyon subdivision.
Size: 470 acres.
Closures/Restrictions: During ignitions there is a possibility of closing a small portion of the Flagstaff Loop Trail near Pine Canyon to ensure public safety.
Smoke Impacts: Smoke is predicted to move toward the east/northeast and may impact the east side of Flagstaff including Walnut Canyon National Monument and the subdivisions of Pine Canyon, Continental/Country Club, Townsend/Winona, Walnut Meadows, Harold Ranch and Heckethorn.
Horseshoe Project (north of San Francisco Peaks)
When: Planned ignition will be Thursday (April 20). Duration is expected to be two days, with burning beginning Thursday and continued through Friday.
Where: North of the San Francisco Peaks. Approximately 13 miles directly north of Flagstaff and four miles directly east of Kendrick Park.
Size: 1,600 acres.
Smoke Impacts: Smoke is predicted to move toward the east/northeast and may impact Kendrick Park, White Horse Hills, and surrounding private inholdings on the northeast side of the San Francisco Peaks, Sunset Crater National Monument and Wupatki National Monument.
Red Rock Ranger District
Upper Beaver Creek Project (Stoneman Lake area)
When: Fire personnel and resources from the Red Rock Ranger District will be supporting the Eastside Project near Flagstaff, so this project will only go forward if conditions in Flagstaff are not suitable for burning and conditions near Stoneman Lake are suitable. If possible, planned ignition will be Wednesday or Thursday (April 19 or 20). Ignitions typically begin between 9-10 a.m. and duration would be one day.
Where: Approximately 12 miles directly east of the Village of Oak Creek and half a mile south of Stoneman Lake.
Size: 400 acres.
Smoke Impacts: Smoke is predicted to move toward the east/northeast and may impact Stoneman Lake and Mormon Lake communities to the north, and the Discovery Channel Telescope to the east. Cooling temperatures in the evenings may cause smoke to settle and drain down nearby canyons, potentially impacting the Village of Oak Creek.
Mogollon Rim Ranger District
Nothing planned this week.
Notifications of upcoming prescribed burns are provided regularly by news releases throughout the season and also by the following online resources:
- Sign up to receive news releases from Coconino NF: www.fs.fed.us/news/subscription.shtml
- Coconino NF’s Inciweb page: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/unit/303/
- Coconino NF’s Twitter account: www.twitter.com/CoconinoNF
- Coconino NF public website: www.coconinonationalforest.us, (Under News and Events)
- Coconino NF’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/coconinonf
For information on possible road closures or road restrictions associated with prescribed burns, please visit www.az511.gov.