Pile burns taking place this week around Flagstaff

December 8th, 2021 at 8:31 PM

From the Coconino National Forest:

The Flagstaff Ranger District is planning three hand pile burns starting tomorrow in conjunction with forecasted snowy weather. These operations will burn piled material remaining from previous mechanical treatments both north and south of the Flagstaff metropolitan area.

The Hotshot Ranch Piles and Taylor Woods Piles projects, located 8 miles northwest of Flagstaff and just north of Fort Valley will burn approximately 73 acres worth of piles beginning tomorrow (Dec. 9) through Friday (Dec. 10), depending on weather conditions.

The Mountainaire Piles project, just east of Interstate 17 at the Mountainaire Road exit (Exit 333), is planned for 52 acres worth of piles and will begin either Thursday or Friday.

Many of these piles are large piles built by commercial timber equipment that prove resilient to moisture due to their immensity. These have a larger window for burning, while smaller hand piles, built by sawyers stacking slash by hand, do not. Because of hand piles’ small stature, these piles burn badly if exposed to moisture. The Flagstaff Ranger District is working swiftly to remove as many piles as possible this winter.

Smoke impacts from these burns should be light and short in duration due to forecasted southwestern winds. Evening smoke may settle near Snowbowl Road and the I-17 corridor near Mountainaire. Ignitions are planned for tomorrow but may be rescheduled for Friday if on-site conditions prove to hinder. No current closures are in place.

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