Springerville

Due to increasing drought conditions and high to very high fire danger across the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (ASNFs), area closures will be implemented in some parts of the forest. Areas outside of the closures with remain in Stage II Fire Restrictions.

Closure areas are decided upon by district and forest leadership with the primary objective of providing protection to communities at risk of wildland fire. Prevailing southwest winds are consistent to areas within the geographical location of the ASNFs and will play a role in determining locations of area closures.

The National Weather Service has issued a RED FLAG WARNING for Thursday, April 19 for the all of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests and most of the state of Arizona due to strong winds and low relative humidity.

Only the National Weather Service can issue a Red Flag Warning. The term Red Flag Warning is used by fire weather forecasters to alert fire personnel and the public of potential extreme and critical fire weather due to high winds and low relative humidity. Red Flag Warnings are issued when the ALL of the following criteria are met:

The Clifton Ranger District on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests plans to begin the Mesa Re-Entry prescribed burn on April 2. The project will be ongoing until May 4, depending on weather conditions.

The 7,471 acre burn area is bounded to the north and west by Pine Flat Rd (Forest Service Road (FSR) 515), to the south by Upper Eagle Creek Rd (FSR 215), and to the east by Sheep Wash Canyon.

The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests Black Mesa Ranger District (BMRD) plans to burn piles along the eastern boundary of the Slim Fire area from 2017.  The piles are along Forest Roads 170G, 172F, and 172C approximately 3 miles north of Forest Lakes.  This pile burn is a follow up to previous slash created from the Slim Fire. 

If conditions allow, the BMRD will also be burning piles within portions of the Fulton Timber Sale-Unit 4 along Forest Road 171. This pile burn will be implemented to reduce slash on the ground created by logging operations.

The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests’ Lakeside Ranger District will be burning slash piles February 15, 2018. The ignition area is in the Timber Knoll Project area along Forest Service Road 3D and 9900L. Smoke impact is anticipated along U.S. Highway 60 and within the Vernon Community. Smoke may be visible from the communities of Show Low, Pinetop-Lakeside and Vernon.  In the interest of safety, forest visitors are reminded to use caution when traveling in the vicinity of the pile burn as smoke may reduce visibility in the area.      

Although most roads on the forest remain open including Forest Road 300, recent snow in the Rim Country has made some forest roads impassable. For public safety and resource protection, The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests’ Black Mesa Ranger District (BMRD) has implemented wheeled motor vehicle restrictions, which affect access to Woods Canyon Lake and the Mogollon Rim Visitor’s Center. Both locations have been gated closed due to icy conditions but are still open to non-motorized modes of travel including skis, snowshoe, and foot. 

The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests’ Lakeside Ranger District will be conducting a 442 acre prescribed burn within the Sepulveda unit of the Los Burros broadcast burn area beginning on 12/14 and continuing through 12/15 if weather conditions allow.  

The Sepulveda Unit is about five miles south of Vernon, along Forest Service Road (FSR) 96, and is surrounded by FSR 6, FSR 6H and FSR 96B.

The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests’ Lakeside Ranger District will continue burning the 3,960 acre prescribed burn within the Whitcom unit, weather dependent, north east of the community of Pinetop.  The district has completed approximately 3,100 acres.  Fire management proposes to burn an estimated 1,000 additional acres to complete this phase of the project from November 14 through November 17.

The Whitcom Unit is located northeast of Pinetop, along Forest Service Roads 182, 283, 283A and 185.

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