With moisture imminent in the immediate weather forecast, prescribed fire operations will temporarily cease on the Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest.
Over the past week, 6193 acres were successfully treated on the Sunflower project located 8 miles southeast of Williams. Although the smoke was very noticeable and large in volume at times, crews had no control problems throughout the operation. All containment lines held and fuels reduction objectives were accomplished. 5710 acres remain to complete the Sunflower Rx project which fire managers are confident will be finished prior to the 2019 fire season.
Fire crews will also begin working on the Green Base Prescribed Fire project just north of Williams in an area known as Three Sisters. 7500 acres are scheduled for treatment on this project however weather and fuel moistures will determine when this project will begin. In the interim crews may burn slash piles during the rainy days as piles are easier to consume in the wet environment.
Officials understand public concern when smoke is effecting many of the surrounding communities. The strategy is to burn larger parcels which ultimately will reduce the number of days smoke will be present in the atmosphere. Burning smaller units would require more burn days which can prolong the duration of lingering smoke.
Kaibab National Forest officials would also like to thank the public for understanding the complexities of this critical work being done that is vital for long term sustainability of national forests across the state.
All prescribed burning on the Kaibab National Forest is subject to approval by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. For additional information on the Smoke Management Division of the ADEQ and to view prescribed burns authorizations, please visit: www.azdeq.gov/environ/air/
Information about prescribed fire projects on the Kaibab National Forest can be obtained through the following sources:
Kaibab National Forest Website: www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab
Kaibab National Forest Fire Information Phone Line (928) 635-8311.
For information about air quality and health awareness visit: bit.ly/SmokeHealthAwareness