The Tonto National Forest will continue conducting prescribed fire treatments in areas around Payson starting on Monday, November 28, 2016. Current weather conditions are providing an opportunity to burn vegetative debris piles in the Diamond Point Summer Homes area ten miles northeast of Payson. Tonto National Forest fire specialists will begin eliminating 174 acres of piles in the Diamond Point Summer Homes area on Monday, November 28 and Tuesday, November 29, 2016. During the day, smoke will impact the Diamond Point Summer Homes, Mead Ranch, Ellison Creek Estates, Zane Grey, and La Cienega Ranch during the two-day operation. Residual smoke in the evening hours will impact Diamond Point Summer Homes, Cold Spring Ranch, and Beaver Valley. Residual smoke may linger in these areas through Thursday, December 1, 2016.
Starting on Wednesday, November 30, 2016, the Tonto National Forest will continue prescribed fire treatments in areas around Payson. Tonto National Forest fire specialists will begin eliminating 248 acres of piles in the Colcord lookout tower area Wednesday, November 30 through Thursday,
December 1, 2016. During the two day burning operation, smoke will impact the communities of Colcord Estates and Ponderosa Estates. Residual smoke in the evening hours will impact Haigler Creek, Colcord Estates, and Ponderosa Estates. Smoke may linger in these areas through Sunday,
December 4, 2016.
Residents and visitors to these areas can expect to see and smell moderate-to-heavy amounts of smoke at times during these operations. Fire specialists will terminate ignitions by 3 p.m. each day to minimize the impact of smoke. Signs will be posted on roads likely to be affected by smoke. Motorists are urged to use caution and slow down while driving forest roads 64 near Diamond Point Summer Homes for the safety of the public and firefighters.
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 a prescribed 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 achievable 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.