Phoenix, AZ (12/5/2022) – Upcoming and favorable weather conditions allow the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management to conduct two prescribed burn projects in Graham and Coconino Counties starting this week.
Roper Lake State Park Pile Burn:
The Roper Lake State Park pile burn project is set for Wednesday, December 7, 2022, and will take two days to complete. Ignitions begin in the morning on Wednesday and Thursday and will continue throughout both days until DFFM meets project objectives. Smoke may be visible to the Safford community, but impacts should be minimal. The burn will not affect park visitors. Over the past few weeks, DFFM has conducted three pile burns at State Parks including at Tonto Natural Bridge, Lost Dutchman, and most recently, Picacho Peak. The piles are leftover debris from previous fuels reduction work completed by Arizona State Parks and Trails as a way to reduce fire risk and protect the parks and nearby communities. Pile burning provides a more efficient and effective way to reduce leftover debris piles.
Flying M Ranch RX Burn:
The Flying M Ranch RX Burn is a 1,800-acre broadcast burn on State Trust Land and planned for Tuesday, December 6, 2022, through Thursday, December 8, 2022. The burn is located east of Mormon Lake in Coconino County, approximately 30 miles southeast of Flagstaff and 10 miles south of Interstate 40. Once morning ignitions begin, winds are predicted to push smoke toward the northeast and should not affect the highway and the Mormon Lake community. Project objectives include wildfire risk reduction by reducing hazardous fuels around infrastructure and nearby private properties. Overall, prescribed burning remains an effective tool to reduce wildfire intensity and risk, provide for healthier forests and protection of watersheds. Prescribed burning acts as a cleaning mechanism to remove ground litter, reduce invasive species and pests, along with any diseased vegetation.
All prescribed burning operations, whether pile or broadcast burns, are weather dependent and may be cancelled or rescheduled due to current weather conditions or DFFM crew availability. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality must also approve burns prior to ignitions. DFFM and ADEQ work closely throughout the year to ensure safe burning environments with minimal smoke impacts to nearby communities. The two agencies recently partnered on a video project focusing on the value of prescribed burning and the benefits to Arizona. The video is available on the DFFM YouTube channel. Prior to any DFFM burn, notifications will be made via the agency’s social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and Nextdoor.