Prescribed Burn planned for area near Hwy 260 and Forest Lakes, adjacent to Willow Springs Lake

***Correction, the dates expected for this project are January 5th through the 13th (weather permitting).

The Black Mesa Ranger District on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests is planning to proceed with prescribed pile burning in the vicinity of Hwy 260 approximately 3 miles west of the community of Forest Lakes and adjacent to Willow Springs Lake.

The project boundaries are north and west of Highway 260 and south and east of the powerline access road. The burn is expected to be conducted between January 6th and 13th, depending on weather conditions.

Smoke will be a consideration in the vicinity of the prescribed burns depending on the weather and caution should be used when traveling in the area. Information on air quality and active prescribed burns can be found on Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s webpage: https://azdeq.gov/. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures.

Our land management strategy is centered on long-term forest health, including reducing forest fuels and using prescribed fire on the landscape. Prescribed fires provide habitat diversity, recycles plant nutrients into the soil, and encourages new growth for various plants used by wildlife and livestock. They also reduce forest surface fuels which lessens the threat of large-scale wildfire impacts on private lands and communities.

The public can obtain additional information by calling the Black Mesa Ranger District at (928) 535-7300.

PILE BURNING TO CONTINUE IN THE BULL FLAT BURN UNIT

Whiteriver, Arizona: In October 2022, fire resources treated 745 acres of piles within the Bull Flat burn unit. Pile burning operations will resume in the Bull Flat burn unit on Friday, December 9, 2022.

The Bull Flat burn unit is located in the far northwest corner of the Reservation. A total of 580 acres are targeted to be treated. Active ignition will take one to three days, with some smoke visible in the burn areas for up to a week after ignition operations are completed. The prescribed burn will occur in previously thinned areas where materials have been piled for burning. The purpose of this burn is to reduce hazardous fuels and the chance for future high-intensity wildfires.

If you have any questions regarding our upcoming prescribed burning efforts, you can call Candy Lupe, Public Information Officer at (928) 338-5425 or you can log onto BIA Fort Apache Fort Apache Agency’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/BIAFAAFireMgt.