Fire managers on the south zone of the Kaibab National Forest will continue ignitions on the Sunflower Prescribed Fire Project through the weekend ahead as forest conditions remain favorable. Over the past three days, 3731 acres have been treated with an additional 2100 acre unit scheduled to be ignited on Saturday, and a 1000 acre block on Sunday.
During the remaining firing operations this week campers and hunters are asked to avoid establishing campsites near the fire activity and seek alternative sites away from the burn area.
Outflowing moisture remnants from Hurricane Rosa are expected to arrive into the local area early next week which will likely curtail prescribed fire activities for several days. Crews may move into burning slash piles in the interim as forest conditions become wetter.
Smoke will be visible and impacts may occur in the communities of Parks, Sherwood Forest Estates, Garland Prairie, Bellemont and outlying areas throughout Verde Valle. Smoke production should noticeably decrease by Sunday as operations cease on the Sunflower project.
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.
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 caution 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 on the Smoke Management Division of the ADEQ and to view prescribed burns authorizations, please visit www.azdeq.gov/environ/air/smoke/index.html.
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