The Black Mesa Ranger District on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests will be conducting prescribed burns within the Rim Lakes Prescribed Burn area starting Tuesday, December 8th lasting two days, as weather conditions allow.
The Crook RX block will include General Crook Trail (Old Forest Road 300) and dozer line between FR 235 and FR 105. The burn block is approximately 176 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 previous mechanical treatments within parts of 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 260, the Rim Lakes Recreation areas, and the communities of Forest Lakes, Christopher Creek, Young, Colcord Estates, and Heber-Overgaard. 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. 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.