PAYSON, Arizona – Tonto National Forest fire specialists will begin eliminating a combined total of about 200 acres of vegetative debris piles on Tuesday, February 20, 2018, near Pyeatt Draw Road and Control Road 64 in the Diamond Point summer homes area. Residents and visitors can expect to see and smell moderate amounts of smoke during the four-day burning operation. Smoke during the day will impact Diamond Point and Ellison Creek summer homes. Residual smoke will impact Beaver Valley and Cold Springs in the evening. Residual smoke may linger in these areas through Sunday, February 25, 2018.
For the area west of Tonto Village, during the day and evening hours, smoke will impact Highway 260, Tonto Village, Thompson Draw I and II, and Diamond Point and Ellison Creek summer homes. Residual smoke will linger in these areas through Sunday, February 25, 2018.
Fire specialists will terminate ignitions by 3 p.m. each day to minimize the impact of smoke. Signs will be posted on roads likely to be affected by smoke. Motorists are urged to use caution and slow down for the safety of firefighters and the public.
Prescribed fire treatments are always dependent on conditions such as wind speed and direction, temperature, relative humidity, fuel moisture content, and other variables.
In 2001, the Payson Ranger District began implementation of a far-reaching, long-range, landscape-scale, three-pronged fuels reduction strategy. The achievable goal is to reduce catastrophic wildfire danger in Rim Country, to initiate the restoration of natural ecological systems, and to develop and foster sustainable forest conditions, wildlife habitat, and watersheds.