Forest Service Burning Slash Piles in Heber Starting 1/24/17

U.S. Forest Service
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests
30 S Chiricahua Drive
Springerville, AZ 85938

Web: www.fs.usda.gov/asnf
Twitter: @A_SNFs
www.facebook.com/apachesitgreavesnfs

News Release
Media Contact:
Liza Simmons
928-333-6280
lizaasimmons@fs.fed.us

Black Mesa Ranger District burning slash piles

Heber-Overgaard, AZ –January 23, 2017; —The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests’ Black Mesa Ranger District will be burning 30 acres of slash piles east of the Hilltop Circle K on the south side of State Highway 260 from January 24 – February 3.

The communities of Heber-Overgaard and State Highway 260 may be impacted with smoke. Community members and forest visitors are reminded to use caution when traveling in the vicinity of the pile burn as smoke may reduce visibility in the area.

Prescribed burning provides many benefits and is essential to maintaining healthy forest ecosystems. It provides habitat diversity, recycles plant nutrients into the soil and encourages new growth for a variety of plants used by wildlife and livestock. Prescribed burning of forest ground fuels also reduces the threat of large scale wildfire impacts to private lands. Crews will be on scene from ignition until there is no longer a threat of escape from the project boundaries. Prescribed fire operations are subject to cancelation due to unfavorable weather conditions.

For questions or concerns please contact the Black Mesa Ranger District at (928) 535-7300, or dial 311 to reach the Northeastern Arizona Public Information System. Also, check out our website at www.fs.usda.gov/asnf or follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/apachesitgreavesnfs/.

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Wind Advisory & Winter Storm Warnings In Effect

1/23/17 0800 – The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory from 11:00 until 5:00 pm. Strong gusty southwest winds will develop this afternoon and last through the evening hours. Sustained winds of 25 to 35 MPH with gusts between 35 to 45 MPH are expected. Stronger winds will be possible in wind prone areas. These winds will create an additional hazard to high profile vehicles traveling through the area. Wind blown dust and snow will reduce visibility to less than a mile at times.

A Winter Storm Warning also remains in effect until 5:00 a.m. Tuesday above 6000 feet. Light snow showers through Monday morning. Heavier snow will spread from west to east Monday afternoon and evening continuing through Tuesday morning.

General event total snow accumulations could be between 5 to 10 inches for areas above 6000 feet. Higher amounts are possible along southwest facing slopes as well as areas above 9000 feet.

Snowfall forecast from noon today until 5:00 am Tuesday:

Alpine………………………..4 to 8 inches
Pinetop-Lakeside…….4 to 8 inches
Show Low………………….3 to 5 inches
Ganado………………………1 to 3 inches
Shonto……………………….1 to 3 inches
Window Rock……………2 to 4 inches

Plan extra time for travel and use caution while driving. Be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibility.

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Winter Storm

The National Weather Service is advising heavy snow accumulations by Saturday afternoon above 5000′. Greatest impacts on Friday night and early Saturday. Additional storm due by Monday.

It’s be a while since we had a good snow, so maybe a refresher is in order. Now is the time to get ready in the event we do receive heavy snow. Get your medications filled if possible, check your pantry, maybe go to the store, enough non-perishable food to last 72 hours per person in your household, put gas in the tank of your car, check your heat source, maybe get your propane tank topped off, bring in additional wood for the wood stove etc.

Think of your pets/livestock as well. Check their food and water, and make sure they have shelter. Also, don’t forget to help elderly family, friends and neighbors. Think acts of kindness. Things such as shoveling snow for them, call and check on them so you know they are ok. It will make them, and you, feel good.

If you plan to travel, or need to drive in the snow, please drive according to the road conditions, not what the posted speed limit is. It may not be safe to drive the posted speed limit, so slow down. Allow yourself plenty of travel time, and allow yourself plenty of time to brake. Keep provisions in your car such as a blanket, snacks, water, cell phone charger and a shovel. If you are stuck along the side of the road, these items may come in handy.

Keep checking back with us. We will update with new information as it becomes available.

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