A new prescribed fire project is set to begin next week on the Williams Ranger District and will likely progress into the months ahead as opportunities arise to use fire for beneficial restoration treatments on this piece of the Kaibab National Forest. The Elk Lee Prescribed Fire project is located about 10 miles southeast of the City of Williams and is 8166 acres in size.
The project will be broken up into smaller units for daily operations to minimize heavy smoke impacts and allow ventilation to move smoke out of the vicinity more rapidly. The specific units to be ignited will be chosen based on fuel moistures and weather conditions that are within prescriptive levels that meet fuels reduction objectives. A Helicopter will be utilized to conduct aerial Ignitions which will accelerate the overall length of time the project will last, and will also reduce the number of days smoke may linger in the atmosphere.
Officials understand that impacts to air quality may be unpleasant at times, however they can significantly reduce the amount and limit the duration of smoke more effectively using prescribed methods as opposed to an uncontrolled wildfire situation. To learn more about smoke and public health, visit bit.ly/SmokeHealthAwareness.
The Kaibab National Forest is part of a fire-dependent ecosystem. Fire on the landscape is critical to overall ecosystem functioning and the sustainability of local communities, watersheds and wildlife habitat. Managers use prescribed fire as a practical means to reduce risks associated with uncharacteristic wildfires that can pose significant threats to public health and safety.
During operations, fire personnel and vehicles will be visible to the public. Motorists are reminded to slow down and drive with heightened caution when passing through active project areas. Hunters and campers are encouraged to seek alternative campsites away from the active fire vicinity while operations are occurring.
All prescribed burning on the Kaibab National Forest is subject to approval by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. (ADEQ) To view approved prescribed burns for any given day on the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s website go to: smoke.azdeq.gov/
Notifications of upcoming prescribed fire projects are provided regularly by news releases throughout the year and through the following sources: