Flagstaff prescribed burns are a familiar occurrence
to those living in and around the Coconino National Forest.
Flagstaff prescribed burns are conducted each fall, winter, and early spring.
These seasons provide conditions
suitable for conducting small prescribed burns.
Wind, humidity and other factors must be within
acceptable tolerances for the Forest Service to conduct a specific prescribed
Each of the prescribed burns is planned and scheduled
in advance... and a specific prescribed burn may be delayed because conditions
Crews conduct the burns with an emphasis on safety and
control. Crews are on-scene before, during, and after each burn is conducted.
Reducing the fuel available to a wildfire and protecting
our communities and forests are worth the occasional smoky (and sometimes
fire activity is dependent on personnel availability, weather – including
winds and ventilation, and approval from the Arizona Department of
Environmental Quality (www.azdeq.gov).
Fire managers make every effort to
minimize smoke impacts to the communities while continuing to address the
critical need to reduce the risk of severe wildfires around those communities.
Tactics to keep smoke impacts as minimal as possible include cancelling burns
when conditions aren’t favorable, finding alternative uses for the debris in
slash piles, timing 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 smoke is in the
In addition, the Coconino National
Forest coordinates prescribed fire plans with the partners of the Ponderosa
Fire Advisory Council (which includes state and local fire departments), as
well as neighboring forests, to reduce the impact of smoke on the communities.
The public can obtain additional
prescribed fire information via the following:
Fire Hotline: 928-226-4607
National Forest Website: www.fs.usda.gov/coconino
on “Prescribed Fire” on the right of the page
us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CoconinoNF
Ranger Stations: Flagstaff Ranger District, 928-526-0866; Red Rock Ranger
District (Sedona) 928-203-2900; Mogollon Rim Ranger District (Blue Ridge)
As a reminder, when fire managers are
deciding whether to suppress a wildland fire, manage it for resource benefits,
or even to begin ignition on a prescribed fire project, they consider conditions
such as location, weather, and potential size, behavior, and direction. Conditions
may warrant suppression strategies in some locations while conditions in other
areas are suitable for prescribed fire ignition.
Prescribed Burns News and
After 100 years of actively suppressing fire in our national
forests, the clinical report is in. Our forests are unhealthy and the
prescription for getting them back to a healthy state is -- fire.
When the land now contained within the boundaries of the
National Forests were in a natural state, fires swept through in a two to six
year cycle. These fires were low intensity and effectively controlled the
understory of the forest, eliminating fuels on a regular basis.
The Forest Service is now endeavoring to replicate the
natural process with prescribed burning and mechanical treatment. Burning will
take place when various conditions such as humidity, wind direction, speed, and
fuels moisture make it safe and effective to burn.
The public can register to
receive regular email notifications of planned
burns by choosing
the “Southwestern Region” option at http://www.fs.fed.us/news/subscription.shtml.
Information can also be obtained via the
Prescribed Fire Hotline at 928-226-4607, our
website, and Twitter at www.twitter.com/CoconinoNF.
August 27, 2014
Williams and Tusayan
Ranger District's 2014-2015 Prescribed Fire
Starting this September,
the Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts have
prescribed (Rx) fire plans for approximately
12,700 acres and 4,400 acres respectively.
However, significantly fewer acres may be
treated through fire if conditions are not
favorable. Conditions include correct
temperature, wind, fuel moisture, ventilation,
and relative humidity. When these criteria are
met, crews implement, monitor, and patrol each
burn to ensure it meets the goals and objectives
outlined by fire managers.
“We know that during
implementation of prescribed fires, firefighter
activity, helicopter noise, vehicle traffic, and
smoke can all have an impact to forest users and
our communities” said Forest Fire Staff
Officer, Art Gonzales. “So we include these
concerns into our decision process and work very
closely with the National Weather Service and
the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
to minimize these impacts as much as possible
while still meeting our goals for forest health
and public safety.”
Key goals for prescribed
fire include continuing efforts to improve
forest health, enhance public safety, and return
fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem. Additionally,
prescribed fire lowers the risk of severe
wildfires on the forest during critical summer
fire conditions by reducing litter, debris, and
dense stands of trees. “We’ve made great
strides in areas where private businesses and
homes meet the forest, but there is still lots
of work to be done in creating defensible spaces”
Before a Rx fire,
notification will be provided through multiple
channels including; email news releases, Forest
fire information line, Inciweb, Twitter, flyers,
and the Forest website. Immediately following a
Rx fire, browning of lower level pine needles
may occur as the tree crown is raised. This is
perfectly normal and healthy. Some areas are
also part of long term project work where future
timber marking paint, mechanical thinning
equipment, and other impacts may occur.
Get fire activity updates
and maps 24 hours-a-day:
Fire Information Line:
Text Message: text ‘follow
kaibabnf’ to 40404
For more information on
smoke and air quality please visit www.azdeq.gov
more and see maps
Prescribed Burns Information
December 11, 2013
Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy Establish
New National Agreement for More Controlled Burning
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service (Service) and The Nature Conservancy (Conservancy) announce a
new partnership that will for the first time increase and better
coordinate controlled burn activities, also known as prescribed fire,
on their respective lands to enhance wildlife values. The agreement
will encourage more efficient use of personnel and equipment while
treating lands that might otherwise not get the benefit of controlled
“The wildlife habitats we manage need more prescribed fire to
survive and thrive, and we can get more done on the ground by
working together,” said Jim Kurth, Chief, National Wildlife
Today, controlled burns are used by land managers to safely
mimic the natural fire cycle and maintain fire-resilient
landscapes for the benefit of people, water, and wildlife.
Planned, controlled burns are also a critical tool to help
reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires, often termed
mega-fires, which have become more common in the past decade.
“The use of managed, controlled burns is essential to the
health of our lands and waters, and the critical life-giving
benefits they provide us,” said Blane Heumann, Director of
Fire Management for the Conservancy. “We can also reduce the
overgrowth of fuels that feeds the mega-fires of summer. We are
very pleased and proud to be working more closely with the
Service through this agreement.”
Collectively, the two entities manage more than 78 million fire
adapted acres across the United States. Last year, the
Conservancy led controlled burns on nearly 105,000 acres of land
it owns. Annually, the organization assists the Service in burns
on approximately 22,000 acres of the Refuge System.
Historically, natural fires were a common occurrence in the
They cleared overgrowth, restored nutrients to the soil, and “rebooted”
the cycle of life across a patchwork of habitats. All told,
around two-thirds of America’s forests and grasslands evolved
to need the restorative power of fire at least once every 30
The Service manages a network of fire-adapted lands in all 50
states and every U.S. territory, and needs to use prescribed
fire on 400,000-800,000 acres per year. Fire is a critical
habitat management tool, along with mechanical thinning,
herbicides and other methods. More than 2,000 Service staff also
cooperates with their federal, state and local partners to
respond to wildfires.
The Nature Conservancy is a private, global, not-for-profit
organization that works to protect the lands and waters on which
all life depends. In the United States, the Conservancy leads
the national Fire
Learning Network along with multiple federal partners,
including the Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian
Affairs, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service.
Over the past 11 years, working under less formal local
agreements, the Service and the Conservancy have worked in 39
states with 1,150 community partners to advance collaborative
conservation and train more than 2,400 fire workers. It is
believed that this national partnership will expand the positive
impact these two organizations have on conservation and the
protection of our national treasures.
July 13, 2011
Fire to Achieve Resource Objectives
AZ – With
the onset of the monsoons, Kaibab National Forest fire managers are
evaluating conditions and looking at opportunities to use wildland fire to
achieve multiple resource objectives. Recent precipitation, higher
humidity and increased fuel moisture has changed the forest noticeably
from that of just a few weeks ago and the fire danger has decreased
Over the coming months, if conditions are appropriate, managers may decide
to use lightning-caused fire and prescribed fire, including broadcast
burning and pile burning, to improve forest health, reduce hazardous
fuels, protect cultural resources, and enhance wildlife habitat.
Some people may question why fire would be managed across the landscape of
the Kaibab National Forest when so many acres have already burned in
Arizona this year. One of the important goals of the fire management
program is to return fire to its proper role in a fire-adapted ecosystem.
Many areas of the forest have had fire excluded for too long which has
lowered the forest’s defense against insects, disease, and high
intensity fire. However, every time fire can be managed safely across the
landscape, another protective layer is added to the forest that can help
prevent future intense wildfires.
If there is smoke in the air, it may mean wildland fire is being used to
achieve multiple resource objectives on the Kaibab National Forest.
Concerted efforts will be made to keep the public informed about fire
activity and smoke.
For more information, please call Punky Moore, Fire Information Officer,
December 2, 2005
Prescribed Fire Accomplishments
Flagstaff- Across the national forests of the Southwest,
restoring fire-adapted ecosystems is the central priority of much of the work
of the US Forest Service. Returning fire to the landscape under carefully
planned conditions, also known as prescribed fire, is a key component. This
fall prescribed fire specialists on the Coconino National Forest accomplished
substantial progress in meeting that goal.
Selective thinning and prescribed fire meet the dual forest
restoration objectives of reducing the wildfire risk to adjacent communities
and improving forest health. Through the current fiscal year, 22,000 acres on
the Coconino are targeted to be treated with either thinning, broadcast or pile
burning. So far this fall, 18,000 acres have been treated with prescribed fire,
with about two-thirds of that acreage considered Wildland Urban Interface, that
critical overlap of forest and communities at risk of catastrophic wildfire.
Last year, the Coconino treated 16,000 acres with thinning and prescribed fire.
“We appreciate the patience of residents
affected by smoke from prescribed burning. We’ve heard from folks who say
they understand the importance of this work, and can put with some smoke if
they know to expect it,” according to Russ Copp, Coconino National Forest
With the onset of winter precipitation, crews plan to burn
piles of slash, branches and small trees leftover from thinning projects. In
northern Arizona, fire season can linger until winter brings adequate snowpack.
Fire fighters may ignite a planned prescribed fire one day, and suppress an
unplanned, human-caused fire the next. Since abandoned campfires are still a
concern, campers are reminded to drown with water and dirt, stir, and feel to
make sure your campfire are cold and dead out.
Flagstaff Prescribed Burns
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