Tonto National Forest fire specialists will take advantage of weather conditions to conduct a broadcast fire treatment on the northern end of Pleasant Valley Ranger District the week of October 25 – 28, 2016. Fire specialists will conduct a 720 acre broadcast fire treatment west of the 512 Road, also known as the Young Highway, between Forest Road 411 C and Forest Road 128. During the day and in to the evening smoke will impact the 512 Road and OW Ranch.
Residents and visitors to the area can expect to see and smell light to moderate amounts of smoke during the four day burning operation. To minimize the impact of smoke, fire specialists will terminate ignitions by 3:30 p.m. each day. Signs will be posted on roads likely to be affected by smoke. Motorists are urged to use caution and slow down for the safety of firefighters and the public. Smoke may linger in the area through the weekend.
Prescribed fire treatments are always dependent on conditions such as wind speed and direction, temperature, relative humidity, fuel moisture content, and other variables. Prescribed fire gives land managers the important option of treating areas with fire under favorable conditions, which helps to protect the natural and cultural resources, while decreasing danger to the public and firefighters. The growth, rate of spread, and smoke from an RX fire treatment is closely monitored. Aggressive suppression actions are taken if the fire displays behavior that does not meet resource management objectives.
In 2001, the Payson Ranger District began implementation of a far-reaching, long-range, landscape-scale, three-pronged fuels reduction strategy. The goal is to reduce catastrophic wildfire danger in Rim Country, to initiate the restoration of natural ecological systems, and to develop and foster sustainable forest conditions, wildlife habitat, and watersheds.