Fire managers on the south zone of the Kaibab National Forest will begin springtime burning on both the Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts beginning Thursday of this week and will likely burn through the weekend and into the following week ahead.
Due to the higher snow and precipitation levels that were received across northern Arizona this past winter, conditions have presented ideal opportunities to implement prescribed burns in the spring months of the year. Prescribed fire is one of the many tools used to accomplish multiple forest restoration objectives. It is also beneficial as a practical method to reduce risks associated with uncharacteristic wildfires that can pose significant threats to public health and safety.
On the Williams Ranger District, crews are hopeful to finish the final 5200 acres of the Sunflower project which began in 2017. The area to be treated is located approximately 10 miles southeast of Williams between County Road 73 and Whitehorse Lake. A helicopter may be used to assist with aerial ignitions on this project and up to 1000 acres a day could potentially be ignited.
On the Tusayan Ranger District managers will continue working on the Reed Prescribed Fire project and will be looking to burn approximately 500 acres 3 miles northeast of the town of Tusayan. Crews may move over the Russell Rx project located approximately 18 miles southeast of Tusayan and continue working in this project area if conditions allow.
Smoke will be highly visible at times near all of these locations. Officials understand that smoke impacts to air quality may be unpleasant at times, however they can significantly reduce the amount and limit the duration more effectively using prescribed methods as opposed to an uncontrolled wildfire situation with long term effects. Smoke will be monitored very closely with the intent to minimize impacts to rural areas.
Turkey Hunters are advised to be aware of these fire operations occurring across the southern half of the Kaibab National Forest and use caution if hunting near these areas.
During operations, fire personnel and vehicles working in these vicinities will be visible to the public. Motorists are reminded to slow down and drive with heightened awareness when passing through active project areas.
All prescribed burning on the Kaibab National Forest is subject to approval by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.
For additional information about the Smoke Management Division of the ADEQ and to view prescribed burns authorizations, please visit www.azdeq.gov/environ/air/smoke/index.html. Additional fire information for Kaibab National Forest can be obtained through the following sources:
· Fire Information Recorded Hotline: 928-635-8311
· Twitter: www.twitter.com/KaibabNF (Text ‘follow kaibabnf’ to 40404 to receive text messages.)
· Kaibab Facebook: www.facebook.com/KaibabNF
· Kaibab website “Recent News”: www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab
· Kaibab South Zone Rx Fire: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5922/