April 23, 2024 4:50 PM

Prescribed Fires Planned on Verde Ranger District – Prescott National Forest

Fire Managers on the Verde Ranger District plan to conduct two prescribed fire operations in the Agua Fria area this week. The project is located in between Dugas Road and HWY 169 on the east side of I-17. Ignitions are planned to start Thursday, February 29 and continue through Friday, March 1 pending suitable conditions. Fire crews plan to treat a large surface area with broadcast burning to improve wildlife habitat and the resiliency of grassland ecosystems.

The two units total 2,025 acres and mainly consist of grass fuels. Smoke will be visible from I-17, Highway 69, Highway 169 and the communities of Dewey/Humboldt, and Arcosanti/Cordes Junction. Smoke is expected to be light throughout the ignition period and should dissipate quickly after ignitions are complete.

The following burns are planned:

  • Hooker North RX – 972 acres
  • South Cattle East RX – 1053 acres

Ignitions will depend upon agency administrator approval and conditions within the ranges outlined in burn plans. Burn plans consider temperature, humidity, wind, moisture of the vegetation and conditions for dispersal of smoke.

Prescribed fires are utilized to remove hazardous fuels and return nutrients to the soils when seasonal weather opportunities allow for the use of fire safely and effectively. Reducing hazardous fuels will help reduce the threat of high-severity, high-intensity wildfire to the public, adjacent private property, and communities.

In the interest of safety, forest visitors are reminded to obey all traffic signs and use caution when traveling in the vicinity of the prescribed burn as firefighters and fire-related traffic will be in the area.

Prescott National Forest’s land management strategy is centered on long-term forest health and the strategy includes reducing forest fuels and using prescribed fire on the landscape.  Using low to moderate fire behavior, we can better protect communities, while improving watersheds, wildlife habitat, and forest health.

All prescribed fire activity is dependent on the availability of personnel and equipment, weather, fuels, and conditions that minimize smoke impacts as much as possible, and approval from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (www.azdeq.gov).

Messages will be posted on social media when prescribed fires are ignited on the Prescott National Forest:

For fire information please call (928) 925-1111; or stay up to date on Prescott National Forest news by checking the Prescott NF website and following us on Facebook and X/Twitter.


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