Fire fighters completed 1300 acres on Tuesday, 7/5. We will do everything possible to keep traffic flowing smoothly today on HWY 169; but ADOT is ready to help if the need arises for a pilot car. Thanks to those traveling on HWY 169 for the patience and to ADOT for their assistance. Photos attached show tall grasses ignited and second photo show grasses treated with little damage to the juniper.
7/5 @10:30 – Ignitions have started on the Gray Wolf prescribed burn. Crews started the morning off by blacklining along HWY 169; pictures attached.
Blackline - Pre-burning of fuels adjacent to a control line before igniting a prescribed burn.
Prescribed Burn Planned July 3-11 on the Verde Ranger District
Prescott, AZ (July 1, 2016) –– The Prescott National Forest is planning to conduct the Gray Wolf prescribed fire in the area south of AZ Highway 169 and west of Interstate - 17 the week of July 5th through July 11th (T13, R3, S17 ). This project will only be implemented if anticipated and needed conditions exist as well as if adequate resources remain available. The Forest recognizes that there may be confusion in conducting a prescribed fire under fire restrictions.
The nature of the restoration and hazardous fuels reduction objectives required for this prescribed burn include drier conditions near the onset of the monsoon season. The location of the prescribed fire treatment is directly adjacent to recent prescribed fire and mastication treatments (see attached map). This is deliberate and part of the fire managers’ plan in conducting this prescribed fire successfully by increasing the security in containing the project’s perimeter and reducing the required effort to do so.
Unlike unwanted wildfires caused by carelessness or by inadvertent consequences of other activities, this prescribed fire if implemented, will be conducted under prescribed conditions with adequate implementation resources as well as planned contingency resources. Verde Ranger District Fuels Specialist Scott Spleiss says, “We take very seriously our responsibility and professionalism as natural resource managers. We won’t proceed with this prescribed fire unless we are certain we can do it on our terms as to when and where.”
Fire restrictions are warranted this time of year as a preventive measure to reduce the occurrence of campfires or other activities that can cause unwanted wildfires. Restrictions reduces the likelihood of fires occurring in locations and at times when limited and finite firefighting resources may be stretched thin or have difficulty accessing the fire in a timely manner.
Fire managers are closely monitoring weather and fuels conditions with equal attention to the wildfire activity and firefighting resources on the Prescott National Forest as well the resource status of nearby wildland fire partner agencies. Coordination with partners, stakeholders, and Arizona Department of Transportation is occurring.
The current trend in success of containing the large wildfires on-going in Arizona and New Mexico along with a continued reduction in needed resources for these fires is being factored into the planning to implement the Gray Wolf prescribed fire. Managers will not hesitate to cancel the project if any of a number of identified situations (triggers) arise, conditions or weather fall out of favor, or if there is an increase in wildfire activity and resource needs in the region.
All prescribed fires activity is dependent on the availability of personnel and equipment, weather, fuels and conditions that minimize smoke impacts as best as possible and approval from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (www.azdeq.gov).
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