SPRINGERVILLE, AZ,- January 26, 2021 – The Black Mesa Ranger District on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests will be conducting a prescribed burn of piles on two administrative sites starting Wednesday, January 27, lasting through the end of the week, as weather conditions allow. The sites are called the Hilltop and Black Mesa Administration Site Prescribed Burn areas.
The Hilltop Administration Site Prescribed Burn area is located south of Highway 260 at the junction of F.R. 86 and F.R. 9593A, and the pile’s location on approximately 7 acres. The Black Mesa Administrate Site’s area is at the Black Mesa Ranger District in Overgaard, with the piles located across about 55 acres. Fire crews will be on scene from the beginning of ignitions until there is no longer a threat of escape from the project boundaries.
Prescribed burning provides many benefits and is essential to maintaining healthy forest ecosystems. This prescribed fire is a follow up to the previous hand thinning treatments within the units. It provides habitat diversity, recycles plant nutrients into the soil, and encourages new growth for various plants used by wildlife and livestock. Prescribed burning of forest ground fuels also reduces the threat of large-scale wildfire impacts on private lands.
Smoke will be visible from Hwy’s 260, 277, 377, and Heber-Overgaard, Aripine, and Clay Springs communities. All prescribed burns are approved through the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) before ignitions begin. ADEQ monitors air quality and determines whether or not it will be a good day for smoke dispersion. Our strategic approach is breaking larger burn areas into smaller acreages often limits the amount of smoke that impacts an area.
Although smoke from prescribed fire can still be a nuisance, it is usually for a shorter time, and considerably less smoke than wildfires produce. If you are sensitive to smoke or have respiratory problems, stay indoors if possible. To find helpful resources visit the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/asnf/fire.
The public can obtain additional information via the following:
• Local Ranger Station: Black Mesa RD (928) 535-7300
• 311 Information at (928) 333-3412
• Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests website
• Prescribed Fires and Smoke