Springerville, AZ, April 20, 2017 – The Black Mesa Ranger District on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests is planning to conduct prescribed fire operations from April 21 through April 24 as weather conditions allow. The district plans to burn 2000 acres along Forest Road 34, one mile south of the Dutch Joe Ranch.
Prescribed burning enhances wildlife habitat and watershed conditions, while promoting forest health and protecting communities from the effects of future high severity wildfire. This prescribed burn is made possible with a partnership between the Arizona Game and Fish Department, APS and the Forest Service to improve wildlife habitat and reduce forest fuels. The project covers approximately 2000 acres of Ponderosa Pine type.
Smoke will be visible from the community of Forest Lakes, Heber and the Rim Lakes Campground areas, and from U.S. Highways 87, 260, 377. Motorists are advised to drive safely when approaching areas where prescribed fire activities may limit visibility and hinder fire personnel operations.
All prescribed burns are approved through the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) before ignition begins. The ADEQ monitors air quality and determines whether or not it will be a good day for smoke dispersion. Although smoke from prescribed fire can still be noticeable, it is usually for a shorter time and considerably less smoke than wildfires produce. If you are sensitive to smoke or have respiratory problems, stay indoors if possible.