Kaibab Forest managed burns continue; overnight smoke anticipated

This photo shows a prescribed burn on the Kaibab National Forest, published on YouTube Nov. 10, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Southwest Fire Science Consortium, U.S. Forest Service; St. George News

FREDONIA, Ariz. — North Zone fire crews took another step forward toward achieving desired conditions on the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest Thursday. However, managed burns will continue through the weekend. Smoke is expected to be visible from Arizona state routes 89A and 67, as well as Marble Canyon and other high-use visitor areas.

With light winds and no significant issues keeping the fire contained within established boundaries, resources on the Moquitch-4 Unit successfully treated 914 acres and completed ignitions on the unit Thursday.

On Friday, resources plan to place the prescribed burn unit in a hold-and-patrol status, while other Moquitch resources will provide support on the Dry Park 422E Unit.

On the Dry Park 422E Unit, winds have been intermittent and slightly more active. However, resources successfully treated approximately 300 acres and plan to resume both hand and aerial ignitions Friday. Upon successful completion of the Dry Park 422E Unit, fire managers anticipate initiating hand ignitions on the 1,806-acre Jacob Ryan Bridge Unit as early as Saturday.

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 fire burn units as firefighters and fire-related traffic will be in the area. While smoke is expected to be visible, fire managers will strive to minimize smoke impacts to the community as much as possible.

Smoke is expected to disperse during the daytime, but residual smoke may settle into drainages and low-lying areas overnight. However, it is expected to dissipate quickly, as fire managers will only commence ignitions when conditions exist that will allow smoke to adequately ventilate.

As a reminder, implementation of prescribed fires is dependent on weather and fuel conditions, including winds, temperature, humidity, moisture of the vegetation and ventilation conditions for dispersal of smoke, as well as prior coordination with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

For additional information on the Smoke Management Division of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and to view prescribed burns authorized on any given day, go to the Smoke Management Division’s website.

Notifications of upcoming prescribed burns will be provided regularly throughout the season. Additional information on current and upcoming North Kaibab Ranger District prescribed burns are provided through the Fire Information Recorded Hotline: 928-635-8311Twitter  or by texting ‘follow kaibabnf’ to 40404 to receive text messages.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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