Fire managers prepare for prescribed fire season on North Zone

FREDONIA, Ariz. - North Zone fire managers are preparing for the upcoming prescribed fire season on the North Kaibab Ranger District, and anticipate starting these prescribed fire treatments as soon as weather and fuel conditions are favorable to do so.

Fire managers carefully develop a prescribed fire burn plan and implement this plan only when environmental conditions are ideal to assuring firefighter and visitor safety by achieving the desired objectives of reducing accumulations of hazard fuels, maintaining the natural role of fire in a fire-adapted ecosystem, protecting sensitive cultural and natural resources, and decreasing risks to life and property.

Plans for each prescribed treatment contain a set of parameters that define the desired weather and fuel conditions under which a prescribed fire may be initiated.

North Zone personnel will continuously monitor those conditions throughout the treatment process. The following prescribed treatments are scheduled and will only be implemented after fire managers have evaluated the current weather conditions and determined that conditions are favorable for that prescribed burn:

Oquer Prescribed Fire: The Oquer project is 3,541 acres in size and is located within the central portion of the district. The unit is bound by Forest Service Road (FSR) 761 on the north/northwest side, FSR 418F on the southwest side, FSR 418B on the south/southeast side and FSR 1025 to 1025B to 761Y on the northeast side. This burn unit is predominately comprised of ponderosa pine and mixed conifer with scattered clumps of aspen.

Jacob Ryan South Prescribed Fire: The Jacob Ryan South project is comprised of two units adjacent to the Jacob Lake developed area. The combined units are 1,546 acres in size and are bordered by Highway 89A on the north, FSR 225 on the east, FSR 258 and 634 on the south and Highway AZ 67 on the west. This burn unit is mainly comprised of ponderosa pine with scattered clumps of aspen.

Moquitch 2 Prescribed Fire: The Moquitch 2 project is approximately five miles west of AZ 67 and is 2,486 acres in size. The burn unit is geographically located east of FSR 282, north of FSR 212 and west of FSR 640. This burn unit is mainly comprised of ponderosa pine with scattered clumps of aspen.

Dry Park 422E Prescribed Fire: The Dry Park 422E project is approximately 1,225 acres in size. The unit is bound by FSR 422D and 422E on the north and east and FSR 422 on the west and south. This burn unit is predominantly composed of mixed conifer and aspen with areas of ponderosa pine.

Dry Park PU1 Prescribed Fire: The Dry Park PU1 project is approximately 854 acres in size. The unit is bound by FSR 422 on the north, FSR 226 on the east, FSR 6954 on the south, and FSR 206 on the west. The burn unit is predominantly composed of mixed conifer and aspen with areas of ponderosa pine.

Objectives specific to this season's prescribed treatments include improving the defensible space in the Wildland/Urban Interface within the North Kaibab Ranger District developed areas, expediting the development of northern goshawk habitat, increasing landscape resilience to wildfire, insects and disease, returning fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem, improving forest health and sustainability and enhancing public safety.

During these prescribed treatments, visitors may see fire personnel and fire vehicles in the vicinity when any prescribed fire is being implemented. Visitors should drive slowly, turn on headlights, and avoid stopping in areas where fire personnel are working.

All prescribed burning on the Kaibab National Forest is subject to approval by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and appropriate weather conditions. Additional information on the Smoke Management Division of the ADEQ and information about prescribed burns authorized for any given day is available at www.azdeq.gov/environ/air/smoke/index.html.

Before prescribed fire treatment is implemented, notification will be provided through multiple channels to include email news releases, Twitter and the forest website, and the status of any initiated prescribed fire can be tracked on InciWeb.

Fire activity updates and maps are available 24 hours-a-day through the Fire Information Line at (928) 635-8311, InciWeb at www.inciweb.nwcg.gov, or text messaging by texting 'follow kaibabnf' to 40404.

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