Fire officials are planning a prescribed fire operation on the Mesa Ranger District, April 25-29, 2023. There is a closure order in place for the affected area.
Fire specialists will be burning a prescribed fire unit on the west and east sides of Forest Road 357 on the slopes of Comet Mountain near the community of Queen Valley.
Experienced fire and fuels specialists on the Tonto National Forest build prescribed fire plans using the most up-to-date science and modeling along with their combined, on the ground fire and fuels experience. The fire plan being utilized takes into the account the ecosystem for the Sonoran Desert, and has been designed to protect native vegetation such as Saguaro cacti.
Expect smoke to impact the community of Queen Valley and Forest Road 357. Smoke maybe visible from U.S. Highway 60 near Florence Junction. Learn more about smoke impacts on the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality website.
The purpose of this prescribed fire is to eliminate the fine fuels in and around the multiple recreational shooting pits in the area. There have been multiple wildfires in the area over the past several years. The removal of these fine fuels will help protect the public, firefighters, and National Forest Lands from uncharacteristically large-fire growth. High temperatures and multiple wildfires create significant challenges for fire management. This project is in alignment with the National Wildfire Crisis Strategy and the National Cohesive Strategy.
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