Significant moisture received over the past month has created ideal conditions to allow fuels reduction work to resume on the Kaibab National Forest using prescribed fire and pile burning methods as fall and winter approaches.
The Moonset Pit green waste disposal site near the community of Parks is scheduled to be ignited on Monday, September 25. Although this pile is usually burned in the winter months, fire managers elected to burn it now anticipating faster and more complete consumption, better smoke ventilation, and ultimately reducing the long lingering heat in the pit that usually occurs in the colder weather. Smoke production is expected to be minimal after the first few hours with rapid dispersion and shorter duration.
The Moonset Pit serves the local area providing a location for the disposal of natural forest debris. Moonset Pit is located just west of the Parks community on a dirt road east of Spitz Springs on the north side of old Route 66. The pit is scheduled to reopen for local use in the spring of 2024.
During operations, fire personnel and vehicles working in these areas will be visible to the public. Motorists are asked to avoid active hot areas and are reminded to use caution and drive with heightened awareness when passing through the project vicinity.
Our land management strategy is centered on long-term forest health, including reducing forest fuels and using prescribed fire on the landscape. Prescribed fires help reduce hazardous fuels that have accumulated due to drought, climate change, insects and disease, and decades of fire suppression. Fire also recycles nutrients back to the soil, promotes the growth of trees, wildflowers, and other plants, and improves habitat for threatened and endangered species. These efforts align with the Forest Service’s 10-year Wildfire Crisis Strategy which aims to increase prescribed fire and other treatments to improve forest resiliency for generations to come.
We recognize that smoke can impact residents, visitors, and our fire personnel. We will continue to coordinate closely with our partners and communities to minimize smoke impacts as much as possible. All prescribed fires on the Kaibab National Forest are subject to Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. The department’s Air Quality Division: Smoke Management webpage provides details about its air quality program.
Information can be found on the Kaibab NF website, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, or by calling the local ranger stations.