Tonto National Forest fire specialists will resume prescribed fire treatments in areas around Payson starting on Monday, February 6 through Friday, February 10, 2017 Fire specialists will eliminate 100 acres of vegetative debris piles in the Tonto Creek Estates area. During the day, smoke will move northeast and will impact the communities of Zane Grey and Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery. Smoke may hang against the face of the Mogollon Rim. Residual smoke in the evening will impact Zane Grey, Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery, Tonto Creek Estates, Bear Flat and Kohls Ranch. Smoke may linger in the area through Sunday, February 12, 2017.
Residents and visitors to the area can expect to see and smell moderate amounts of smoke during the prescribed fire operation. To minimize the impact of smoke, fire personnel will end ignitions each day by 3 pm. 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.
Prescribed fire treatments are always dependent on conditions being within certain conditions which includes: wind speed and direction, temperature, fuel moisture content, relative humidity and other variables. Prescribed fire gives land managers the important option of treating areas with fire during favorable conditions, helping to protect the natural and cultural resources, while decreasing danger to the public and firefighters.
Since 2001, the Payson Ranger District has been implementing a far-reaching, long-range, landscape-scale, three-pronged fuels reduction strategy. The achievable goal is to reduce catastrophic wildfire danger, restore ecological systems, and to develop and foster sustainable forest conditions, wildlife habitat, and watersheds.