FREDONIA, Ariz. — Pile burning on the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest commenced this week with plans to continue the fuels-reduction efforts as long as conditions are within prescription to do so.
According to a press release from the district, if left untreated, the piles could contribute to a high-severity, high-intensity wildfire once warmer, drier weather arrives.
“We burn when we can. Despite having the snow, not every day is a burn day,” David Veater, acting north zone fuels assistant fire management officer, said in the release. “Our goal is to take advantage of the few days we are within prescription to maximize our fuels reduction efforts.”
A prescription is a set of conditions that factor in the safety of firefighters, the public, weather and the probability of meeting objectives, which is to maximize consumption of the ground fuels.
During these pile burns, no road or trail closures are expected. However, visitors are reminded that during and for several hours following ignitions, smoke may be present on roadways.
Drivers should use caution, drive slowly, turn on headlights and avoid stopping in areas where firefighters, fire-related traffic and smoke may all be present.
Like a prescribed fire or timber management project, pile burning is one of many tools that forest and fire managers use to help improve forest health. This year, from January through April, fire managers burned approximately 620 acres of piles in the vicinity of Jacob Lake.
Implementation of any prescribed fire is dependent on weather and fuel conditions, including winds, temperature, humidity, the moisture of vegetation and ventilation conditions for dispersal of smoke. As with all prescribed burns, weather conditions will determine the day’s most suitable for ignitions that have the least amount of negative effects on air quality and the best possible ventilation.
The public can view approved prescribed fires for any given day by clicking here.
To learn more about smoke and public health, click here.
Notifications of upcoming prescribed fire projects are provided regularly throughout the year. Additional information can also be obtained through the fire information recorded hotline at 928-635-8311 or the Kiabab National Forest website | Facebook | Twitter.