Fire Managers on the Prescott National Forest plan to take advantage of current weather conditions and begin fall prescribed burning in the Prescott Basin on the Bradshaw Ranger District south of Prescott, Arizona. Ignitions are planned to start on Monday, September 25, 2023, and will continue through October depending on weather conditions and resource availability. Several burns are planned east of Highway 89, west of Senator Highway, north of Wolf Creek Road, and south of Goldwater Lake on national forest lands. Goldwater Lakes Trail #396 and Schoolhouse Gulch Trail #67 are in the Goldwater RX that’s planned to start on Monday, September 25, 2023; trail users should avoid these trails. Trail users can stay informed on daily prescribed fire activities and temporary trail closures by checking the Prescott National Forest website or following us on social media where daily information on current fire actives will be shared.
Four prescribed burns are planned: Goldwater RX – approximately 1,162; Groom Creek RX - approximately 1,092; Ponderosa Park RX – approximately 1,012 acres; and the Indian Creek RX – approximately 1,121 acres (see attached map).
A variety of ground and aerial resources will be used to meet the project objectives. Expect smoke impacts to be light and visible from multiple locations including Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, and surrounding area communities. As nighttime temperatures cool, smoke can linger in drainages and valleys. In the interest of safety, forest visitors are reminded to obey all traffic signs and use caution when traveling in the vicinity of prescribed burns as firefighters and fire-related traffic will be in the area.
Additionally, Fire Managers will be staffing an information booth where the public can stop by, look at maps, get current information on the burns, ask questions, and better understand what it means to live in a community with prescribed fire. The information booth will be located on the east side of the Prescott Fire Department Station 71, 333 White Spar Road, Prescott, AZ on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. and again on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Prescott National Forest’s land management strategy is centered on long-term forest health and the strategy includes reducing forest fuels and using prescribed fire on the landscape. Using low to moderate fire behavior, we can reduce hazardous fuels in the wildland-urban interface and increases ecosystem and community resilience. Reducing hazardous fuels will help reduce the threat of high-severity, high-intensity wildfire to the public, adjacent private property, and communities.
The project also furthers the goals of the Forest Service’s national Wildfire Crisis Strategy to restore forests so they are less vulnerable to extreme wildfires that can risk lives and property, impact watersheds and wildlife habitat.
All prescribed fire activity is dependent on the availability of personnel and equipment, weather, fuels, conditions that minimize smoke impacts as much as possible, and approval from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (www.azdeq.gov).
Messages and trail closures will be posted on social media when prescribed fires are ignited on the Prescott National Forest:
For fire information please call (928) 925-1111; or stay up to date on Prescott National Forest news by checking the Prescott NF website and following us on Facebook and Twitter.