Community News

News release: Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts 2014-2015 Prescribed Fire Plans

August 27, 2014

WILLIAMS, Ariz. – Starting this September, the Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts have prescribed (Rx) fire plans for approximately 12,700 acres and 4,400 acres respectively. However, significantly fewer acres may be treated through fire if conditions are not favorable. Conditions include correct temperature, wind, fuel moisture, ventilation, and relative humidity. When these criteria are met, crews implement, monitor, and patrol each burn to ensure it meets the goals and objectives outlined by fire managers.

“We know that during implementation of prescribed fires, firefighter activity, helicopter noise, vehicle traffic, and smoke can all have an impact to forest users and our communities” said Forest Fire Staff Officer, Art Gonzales. “So we include these concerns into our decision process and work very closely with the National Weather Service and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to minimize these impacts as much as possible while still meeting our goals for forest health and public safety.”

Key goals for prescribed fire include continuing efforts to improve forest health, enhance public safety, and return fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem. Additionally, prescribed fire lowers the risk of severe wildfires on the forest during critical summer fire conditions by reducing litter, debris, and dense stands of trees. “We’ve made great strides in areas where private businesses and homes meet the forest, but there is still lots of work to be done in creating defensible spaces” Gonzales added.

Before a Rx fire, notification will be provided through multiple channels including; email news releases, Forest fire information line, Inciweb, Twitter, flyers, and the Forest website. Immediately following a Rx fire, browning of lower level pine needles may occur as the tree crown is raised. This is perfectly normal and healthy. Some areas are also part of long term project work where future timber marking paint, mechanical thinning equipment, and other impacts may occur.

Get fire activity updates and maps 24 hours-a-day:
Fire Information Line: 928-635-8311
Text Message: text ‘follow kaibabnf’ to 40404

For more information on smoke and air quality please visit or