Controlled burn March 7 in Tonto National Forest

Contributed article

Fire specialists from the Tonto National Forest plan to burn 40 acres of vegetative debris piles on Thursday, March 7. This one-day prescribed fire treatment will occur north of Payson along the south side of the Beaver Valley area.

Residents and visitors can expect to see and smell moderate amounts of smoke during the treatment. Smoke will impact Beaver Valley Estates, Houston Mesa Road, Cold Springs, Whispering Pines, and Bonita Creek Estates during the day. In the evening, smoke will affect Beaver Valley, Flowing Springs and East Verde Estates. Smoke may linger in these areas through Saturday, March 9.

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.

To minimize the impact of smoke, fire specialists will end ignitions by 3 p.m.

Prescribed fire treatments 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 surrounding communities.

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