Fire specialists from the Tonto National Forest (NF) will ignite a 900-acre prescribed broadcast fire treatment on Monday through Friday, Dec. 1 to 5, in the Whispering Pines area. The burn will occur on the west side of Houston Mesa Road, between 2nd crossing and Control Road 64.
The Whispering Pines prescribed fire is part of the multi-dimensional process of accelerated forest restoration over time.
Residents and visitors can expect to see and smell a moderate amount of smoke each day during burning operations. Once burning operations cease, smoke will lesson to minimal levels. To minimize the smoke impact, fire managers will terminate ignitions by 3 p.m.; however, residual smoke may linger in the area through Sunday, Dec. 7.
During the day, smoke will impact the communities of Whispering Pines, Verde Glen, and Rim Trail. At night the smoke will impact Whispering Pines, Geronimo Estates, Beaver Valley, Freedom Acres, Flowing Springs, and East Verde Estates.
Signs will be posted along Control Road 64, Forest Road 32, and other roads in the area likely to be affected by smoke. Motorists are urged to use caution while driving thru these areas and to slow down for the safety of firefighters and the public.
Prescribed fire treatments are always dependent on weather conditions, such as temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction. Broadcast fire treatments typically continue for several days and are conducted when fuel moisture content of the vegetation and weather conditions are favorable. Low-to-moderate winds are needed to carry flames and to dissipate smoke during and after ignition operations and to achieve beneficial effects sought by land managers.