Phoenix, AZ (11/3/2022) – The Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management in conjunction with Arizona State Parks and Trails begin pile burn operations at four state parks across the state over the course of a few weeks.
Upcoming and favorable weather conditions allow DFFM to conduct ignitions to piles at Tonto Natural Bridge near Payson and Lost Dutchman near Apache Junction the week of November 7, 2022. The following week, ignitions begin at Picacho Peak outside of Eloy. DFFM burn managers expect to wrap up the pile burn project at Roper Lake near Safford the first week in December. Each burn should take one day to complete with no impact to park visitors.
The piles are leftover debris from previous fuels reduction work conducted by Arizona State Parks and Trails to help with fire mitigation efforts. DFFM hand crews will conduct the burn operations. Pile burning allows for a more efficient way to reduce leftover debris and at the same time it helps to reduce wildfire risk and safeguards nearby communities.
Smoke impacts should be minimal at Tonto Natural Bridge, Lost Dutchman, and Roper Lake. However, due to the location of Picacho Peak State Park and its project size, this pile burn operation will be highly visible along Interstate 10, southeast of Eloy, and may affect the highway. Additional notifications prior to all four burns will be made through DFFM’s social media channels along with the Nextdoor platform.
All pile burns and prescribed fire projects are weather dependent and may be cancelled or rescheduled based off weather conditions or crew availability. In addition, these projects must have approval from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality prior to ignitions.