Kaibab National Forest fire managers will make another attempt at applying prescribed fire treatments on the first units of the Three Sisters Prescribed Fire Project north of Williams beginning Tuesday of next week. The project was temporarily postponed last week due to unfavorable conditions that would have presented difficulty meeting objectives and managing smoke Impacts to the community.
Operations may continue throughout the week as weather conditions permit. Daily ignitions will only occur when environmental factors align with the required prescription that will achieve desired results and meet land management objectives.
The 7400 acre prescribed burn area is located just north of the City of Williams and Interstate 40, east of Forest Road 124, and west of Airport Road and Highway 64. Goals of the prescribed fire treatment include decreasing the threat of unnatural severe wildfire by reducing accumulated fuels, improving forest health, and reintroducing fire to the landscape that aligns with the desired historical condition.
The project will be broken into smaller units that will be scheduled to be burned on days that will help to allow smoke to disperse away from developed areas and ventilate quicker reducing the impacts to local communities.
Area residents can expect to see and hear a helicopter in the area, as aerial ignitions will occur on portions of the burn. Smoke will be highly visible from the City of Williams and from roadways and recreation areas in the general vicinity of this project. Specific areas from which smoke is likely to be noticeable include H.A. Clark Memorial Field airport, Kaibab Lake, portions of State Route 64, Valle, the City of Williams, and Interstate 40. Smoke is expected to lift during the day and travel northeast toward Red Lake Valley. However, cooler overnight temperatures may cause smoke to settle into low-lying areas surrounding the burn location.
Fire managers are aware that community members may be sensitive to the smoke produced, and they make every effort to limit the amount and duration of production. Prescribed fires with short-term impacts to air quality can help prevent future severe unplanned wildfires under unpredictable conditions with smoke that may pose significant risks to public health and safety.
To learn more about smoke and public health, visit bit.ly/SmokeHealthAwareness.
No road or trail closures are planned as part of the this project however access to Kaibab Lake will be temporarily restricted while ignition operations are occurring within the day use picnic and fishing areas. Motorists are reminded to slow down and drive with heightened awareness when passing through active project areas.
All prescribed burns are subject to approval from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. Members of the public may view approved prescribed burns for any given day on the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s website at smoke.azdeq.gov/
Notifications of upcoming prescribed fire projects are provided regularly by news releases throughout the year and through the following sources:
• InciWeb: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5922/
• Kaibab National Forest Website: www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab
• Twitter: www.twitter.com/KaibabNF
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/KaibabNF
• Fire Information Recorded Hotline: (928) 635-8311