The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and the Coconino National Forest are warning backcountry mountain travelers to be alert for potential avalanche hazards on the San Francisco Peaks. The existing snowpack, recent wind events, and a large amount of new snow could produce hazardous conditions in the backcountry. This includes side country area bordering Arizona Snowbowl Ski Area.
Coconino National Forest
When the snow flies in Northern Arizona, people from all over the state come and play in the Flagstaff area.
Three-day weekends, such as the one upcoming, are weekends when masses of people converge upon northern Arizona and Coconino National Forest to play in the snow. Drivers, visitors and residents will need to have extra patience and be courteous to each other.
Recent snows have brought many visitors to snow play areas along state Route 180, north of Flagstaff, which has caused dangerous conditions as people are parking illegally on the side of SR 180.
Hand thinning of trees throughout the Coconino National Forest has produced piles of branches, which will be burned this week in the Stoneman Lake area of the Mogollon Rim Ranger District.
The pile burns will be three miles east of Stoneman Lake Road, near Lake Mary Road and six miles southeast of Clints Well near the Mogollon Rim. The prescribed pile burns will begin around 10 a.m. and continue through the afternoon, with smoke is predicted to move toward the northeast.
The Eastside project has produced piles of debris from hand-thinning of trees, which will be burned tomorrow (Tuesday, Nov. 29) near Flagstaff and will produce smoke visible to surrounding residents.
The pile burns will be in two main locations: one is located about two miles south of Little America near Pine Canyon subdivision and the Heckethorn community. The other is located north of Flagstaff near Schultz Pass. The burns will begin around 9 a.m. and continue through the afternoon, with smoke predicted to move toward the northeast.
Fire managers are planning a prescribed burn project Wednesday (Nov. 16) in the Mormon Lake area. Weather conditions will dictate when the project is initiated by fire managers. A portion of the Arizona National Scenic Trail, between Forest Service Roads 90N and 90H, will be temporarily closed into the weekend and then an assessment will be completed to determine its reopening. Although there will be smoke in the area, a short, easy reroute will be marked during that time.
Coconino National Forest fire managers are utilizing forest roads as natural boundaries to back burn around a lightning-caused wildfire and eventually contain the wildfire that is located approximately five miles northeast of Munds Park.
The Spur Fire began Friday (Oct. 28) about five miles northeast of Munds Park and is currently burning in an area with heavy forest fuels.
Fire managers are planning several prescribed burn projects this week across Coconino National Forest that will produce visible smoke around Flagstaff, Stoneman Lake and Clints Well, beginning as early as tomorrow.
Fire managers are planning several prescribed burn projects this week near Flagstaff that will produce visible smoke plumes close to town, likely starting Thursday (Oct. 27). Not all projects listed below will be pursued this week, but weather conditions will dictate which projects are initiated by fire managers, as one area may be suitable for burning while another area is not.
Fire managers are planning several prescribed burn projects next week, likely starting Monday (Oct. 17). These prescribed burns are conducted in order to help protect communities from severe wildfires by reducing forest fuel accumulation in strategic areas around northern Arizona communities, and also reintroduce fire into the Ponderosa pine ecosystem for restoration purposes.
Fire managers are planning several prescribed burn projects next week, likely starting Tuesday (Oct. 11), to reintroduce fire into the Ponderosa pine ecosystem and reduce forest fuel accumulation in strategic areas around northern Arizona communities.
Two of the projects—Eastside and Griffith Springs—will be close to Flagstaff and produce smoke plumes that will be very noticeable to those in and around Flagstaff. However, the smoke should rise and move toward the northeast, dissipating by the end of the day. Ignitions usually begin about 9 a.m.