Tonto National Forest fire specialists will take advantage of weather conditions to conduct broadcast fire treatments in Payson and Pleasant Valley ranger districts during the week of October 31 through November 4, 2016.
Residents and visitors to the area can expect to see and smell moderate amounts of smoke during the five 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 both areas through Thursday, November 10, 2016.
Fire specialists may conduct a 1,262 acre broadcast fire treatment in the Pyeatt Draw area south of Forest Road 198, west of Forest Road 433, and north of Pyeatt Draw Creek on Monday, October 31 through Friday, November 4, 2016. During the day smoke will move to the northeast, up and over the Mogollon Rim and will impact Ellison Creek Summer Homes and Estates, Diamond Point Summer Homes, and La Cienega Ranch. Smoke will be moderate to heavy in the Pyeatt Draw area and Control Road 64. Residual smoke in the evening will impact Cold Springs, Ellison Creek Estates and Summer Homes, Diamond Point Summer Homes, Beaver Valley, and East Verde Estates.
Fire specialists may conduct a 1,951 acre broadcast fire treatment on the east side of the 512 Road, also known as the Young Hwy., and Forest Road 109 Loop on Monday, October 31 through Friday, November 4, 2016. During the day, smoke will move up and over the OW Ranch toward Forest Lakes. Residual smoke in the evening hours will impact the 512 Road and will move down the Cherry Creek drainage to Pleasant Valley.
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.