Springerville, AZ, November 14, 2017 – For Immediate Release. The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests’ Lakeside Ranger District will continue burning the 3,960 acre prescribed burn within the Whitcom unit, weather dependent, north east of the community of Pinetop. The district has completed approximately 3,100 acres. Fire management proposes to burn an estimated 1,000 additional acres to complete this phase of the project from November 14 through November 17.
The Whitcom Unit is located northeast of Pinetop, along Forest Service Roads 182, 283, 283A and 185.
Ignition may last several days, with daily smoke impact anticipated within area drainages. Smoke will be visible in the local area, from Arizona State Highway 260 and 77, and U.S. Highway 60, in Pinetop – Lakeside, Vernon, McNary and Show Low. Motorists are advised to drive safely when approaching areas where prescribed fire activities may limit visibility and hinder fire personnel operations.
Crews will be on scene from ignition until there is no longer a threat of escape from the project boundaries. Be alert for the increased possibility of falling trees following the application of fire within the project area.
Prescribed burning provides many benefits and is essential to maintaining healthy forest ecosystems. This prescribed fire is a follow up to previous mechanical treatments within parts of the unit. 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. This will provide protection for the adjacent private land as well as the community of Pinetop Country Club and Sky High Retreat.
For questions or concerns please contact the Lakeside Ranger District at (928) 368-2100, or dial 311 for the Northeastern Arizona Public Information System.