PHOENIX—February 8, 2019,—Fire specialists from the Tonto National Forest plan to burn debris piles starting Monday, February 11, and continuing through Thursday, February 14, 2019, on 73 acres of piles located just north of Payson and Home Depot on the west side of Highway 87.
Residents and visitors can expect to see and smell light-to-moderate amounts of smoke and flames during the four day treatment window. During the day, smoke will impact Payson, Highway 87, and Mesa del Caballo. During the evening, smoke may also drift into East Verde Estates. Smoke may linger in these areas through Friday, February 15, 2019.
Signs will be posted on roads that are likely to be affected by smoke. Forest officials urge motorists to use caution and slow down while driving through these areas for the safety of firefighters and the public. This is especially important during evening hours when cold air settles which may result in smoke impacting a ¾ mile stretch of Highway 87 from Payson to East Verde Estates. To minimize the impact of smoke, fire specialists will burn small segments, of 20 acres or less each day, and end ignitions by 1 PM each day during burning operations.
Prescribed burns are conducted within a “prescription” that is determined by appropriate fuel moisture, temperature, humidity, wind, and ventilation. The purpose of this fuels reduction work is to lower the threat of high-severity, high-intensity wildfire to the public, adjacent private property and natural resources in the Wildland Urban Interface area that surrounds the communities.
Please check InciWeb for updates and maps: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5925/