Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest prepares for the prescribed burning season

Contributed Photo

Contributed Article/Courtesy Forest Service

SPRINGERVIELLE – Fire managers on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests are planning for the 2021 fall and 2022 spring prescribed fire burning season that is expected to begin in October of this year. 

Fire plays a beneficial role in maintaining the ecological stability of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. Managers use prescribed fire as a practical means to reduce risks associated with uncharacteristic or catastrophic wildfires.

The Forest Service’s land management strategy is centered on long-term forest health, which includes reducing forest fuels and using prescribed fire on the landscape. A healthy forest is a resilient forest that undergoes fire occurrences on a regular basis. The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests works with partners, collaborators, and communities to clearly identify objectives and address concerns during the planning process for prescribed fires.

Officials recognize that impacts to air quality may be unpleasant at times, however, they can significantly reduce the amount and limit the duration of smoke more effectively using prescribed methods than in an uncontrolled wildfire situation. Additionally, fire managers will actively monitor atmospheric conditions daily and use strategies to minimize smoke impacts to rural developed areas.

During operations, fire personnel and vehicles working in these vicinities will be visible to the public. Motorists are reminded to slow down and drive with heightened caution when passing through active project areas.

Individual news releases will be forthcoming throughout the season, detailing specific information about each burn.

All prescribed burning on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests is subject to approval by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ).  For additional information about the Smoke Management Division of the ADEQ, if you notice smoke in the air, or to view prescribed burn authorizations, please visit legacy.azdeq.gov/environ/air/smoke/index.html

Fire information for the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests can be found at: