Pile Burning in the Tonto South Burn unit

The Bureau of Indian Affairs Fort Apache Agency Fire Management in coordination with the White Mountain Apache Tribe will resume pile burning in the Tonto South burn unit on Wednesday, November 30, 2022.

If conditions are favorable, they will continue through with pile burning until the completion of the unit.

The Tonto South burn unit is located in the southeast corner of the Reservation. Fire personnel treated 2,623 acres a week and a half ago. The unit has approximately 11, 344 acres remaining to be treated. The prescribed burn will occur in previously logged 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. Prescribed burning activity is dependent upon the availability of fire personnel, weather conditions, fuel moisture levels and smoke management.

Smoke will be present during and after burning operations. Thank you in advance for driving carefully and watching for firefighters and equipment near the road. If you have any questions regarding our 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.

Forest Service has prescribed burns planned for Apache-Sitgreaves Forests

Springerville, AZ, November 15, 2022 — Multiple districts on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests are planning prescribed fires over the coming months. Prescribed fires are being planned for the following locations, and will be initiated if conditions and approvals allow:

Black Mesa Ranger District
• Carr Lake/Adler – Location: 8 miles west of Forest Lakes; Project Boundaries: FR300 and FR195 junction north along of FR300 to the junction of FR 169. East along FR 169 to the junction of FR106. South along closed FR106 to existing protection lines from previous projects/wildfires, protection lines constructed between FR 106 to FR 195 on the south. Total Acres: 2,145.
• Fulton – Location: 4 miles southwest of Forest Lakes; Project Boundaries: South of HWY 260 between FR171 and FR212, south along FR 512, to the junction of FR9512E road. West along FR9512E to protection line constructed along the Mogollon Rim on the west boundary. Total Acres: 1,738.
• Rim Top – Location: 7 miles west of Forest Lakes; Project Boundaries: Protection line along Mogollon rim between closed FR 300T to FR9350, FR195 from FR300 to protection line northwest and southwest of Woods Canyon Lake, south along FR105 to the junction of FR300, west along FR300 to the junction of closed FR300T. Total Acres: 1,286.
• Sinkhole – Location: 4 miles southwest of Forest Lakes; Project Boundaries: North along closed FR 235 to protection line into Willow Springs Lake, the western and southern shores of Willow Springs Lake, protection line to HWY260. East along HWY260 to FR300 and north along FR300 to junction of closed FR235. Total Acres: 875.

Lakeside Ranger District
• Morgan Tank Unit 5 – Location: 3 miles west of Show Low, south of Linden; Project Boundaries: East of FR 140, west of FR 135, north of FR 300; Total Acres: 1465.
• Lakeside East Prescribed Burn, Units Antelope, Doyle, Ortega, Ecks Mountain and Mud Springs – Location: 4 miles southwest of Vernon; Project Boundaries: West of CR 3140, north of FR 4, east of FR 3, south of FR 44 and FR 5; Total Acres: 7,162.

Springerville Ranger District
• Pole Knoll – Location: 1 Mile west of Greer and 12 miles west of Springerville/Eagar; Project Boundaries: South of HWY 260, west of FR 8590, north of FR 8589, and east of FR 112; Total Acres: 2,128.
• Wallow West Unit 6A – Location: 6 miles south of Greer; Project Boundaries: West of Railroad Cove Trail and HWY 273, south of HWY 273, west of FR 68, north and east of the West Fork of the Black River; Total Acres: 6,561
• West Escudilla – Location: 5 miles southeast of Springerville; Project Boundaries: South of State HWY 60, west of the New Mexico State line, north of the community of Nutrioso and east of State HWY 191; Total Acres: 39,479.

Alpine Ranger District
• Nutrioso 2 (Units Bluff, Hand, Meadow, North, and South) – Location: 4.5 miles southwest of Alpine; Project Boundaries: North of FR 249, east of FR 88B, west of FR 581; Total Acres: 3,652.
• Wallow West Unit 9 – Location: 20 miles west of Alpine; Project Boundaries: South and west of FR 8895, west of FR 25, north of FR 25F, and east of the White Mountain Apache Reservation Fence Line; Total Acres: 2,056.
• ELC Piles – Location: 6.5 miles northwest of Alpine; Project Boundaries: south of FR 577, east of FR 275, west of FR 8181B, and west of the New Mexico State Fence Line; Total Acres: 2,500

Clifton Ranger District
• EEMS Block C – Location: 7 miles southeast of Hannagan Meadow, 4 miles west of Hwy 191, and 4 miles east of the San Carlos Indian Reservation; Project Boundaries: FR 54 to the North, Squirrel Canyon to the west, East Eagle Creek to the south, and Salt House Creek to the east. Total Acres: 12,008.

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.
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/.

Stay up to date on news from the A-S at our website https://www.fs.usda.gov/asnf, on Twitter @A_SNFs and on facebook.com/apachesitgreavesnfs.

Mesa Fire update

Fire personnel from the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests are on scene and continuing their response to the Mesa Fire, located on the Black Mesa Ranger District.

The fire was initially reported by a USFS lookout on the 3rd of July. A lightning strike has been determined to be the cause. The fire is currently 650 acres and is 15% contained. https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8217/The fire is burning in rugged terrain near Deer Lake Canyon, a steep canyon that runs into Chevelon Canyon. Due to the inaccessibility of the current fire location, firefighters are using an indirect strategy utilizing existing roads and favorable terrain to support full suppression activities. Tactical firing operations will continue as weather conditions allow. Drones may also be utilized in these efforts. Smoke is expected to be visible in the coming days, particularly from Hwy 260 and the community of Forest Lakes. An interactive smoke map at https://fire.airnow.gov/ allows you to zoom into your area to see the latest smoke conditions. Operations will continue as weather and fire conditions allow, while simultaneously placing firefighter safety foremost in consideration. There is a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) in effect, this restricts non-fire aircraft over the Mesa Fire. This includes civilian drones and private planes. Unauthorized aircraft in the area can ground firefighting aircraft, hinder firefighting efforts, and can also result in criminal charges for the offender. If you fly, we can’t. For more information regarding the TFR please visit https://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html The public is advised to avoid the area if possible. If travel near the area is necessary, please use caution on roadways, watch for heavy equipment in the area, and slow down. These steps increase safety for both the public and for firefighters responding in the area.

Stay up to date on news from the A – S at our website https://www.fs.usda.gov/asnf, on Twitter @A_SNFs and on facebook.com/apachesitgreavesnfs.