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Prescribed Burns Blanket Some Areas in Smoke
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29 September 2015   David McAtee

Prescribed Burn in Prescott Causing Air Quality Concerns

According to the U.S. Forest Service and the Prescott National Forest service, fire managers on the Bradshaw Ranger District are planning to start ignitions beginning Monday September 28 through Sunday October 4 in the Prescott Basin pending favorable weather conditions. Specific days to burn will be determined by current and expected weather patterns allowing fire managers to make every effort to minimize smoke impacts to nearby communities. Tactics to keep smoke impacts as minimal as possible include postponing approved burns when conditions aren’t favorable, timing daytime ignitions to allow the majority of smoke time to disperse prior to settling overnight, and burning larger sections at a time when conditions are favorable to reduce the overall number of days of smoke is in the area.

The public can obtain additional prescribed fire information via the following:

• Prescott NF Fire Information Hotline: (928) 777-5799

• Prescott NF Forest Website:http://www.fs.usda.gov/prescott/

• Local Ranger Stations: Bradshaw Ranger District, (928) 443-8000; Chino Valley Ranger District (928) 777-2200; Verde Ranger District (928) 567-4121.

According to the Portable Particulate Monitors placed in Prescott (330 Grove Ave), the air quality numbers are well within the “Good” range. “As long as you can still see things that are 5 to 10 miles away you can be reasonably sure you won’t have a medical emergency caused by smoke inhalation” said David McAtee, Yavapai County Community Health Services Public Information Officer. “Conditions are being monitored and communities will be alerted as needed. If you start to feel sick or faint contact your doctor immediately.”

At night the falling air temperatures tend to cause smoke to move to lower elevations. Communities near the fire may be affected by poor air quality and residents are advised to stay tuned to radios and scanners for alerts.

Residents can help their communities by checking on neighbors, especially if the neighbor lives alone, is elderly, or may have heart or lung disease. We recommend that you limit your time outside and avoid exercising outdoors as much as possible.