Smoke from prescribed burn near Flagstaff to taper off through weekend
Smoke from a large, prescribed burn about 10 miles southwest of Flagstaff is expected to taper off into the weekend. It’s one of several forest health projects fire managers have begun in recent weeks amid unusually wet spring conditions.
Crews completed ignitions on the 4,500-acre Crater Sinks project Thursday. A moderate blanket of smoke drifted through parts of Flagstaff and impacted Interstate 40 before lifting in the early evening. According to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, lingering smoke will be possible over the next several days as fuels continue to burn / but will dissipate as the project winds down. The department approves prescribed burns based on weather conditions and forecasted smoke impacts.
"During the day you may smell the smoke, you may see the smoke, but typically it’s dispersed over a larger portion of the atmosphere, so the impacts are just light-to-moderate smoke impacts. The good news is, even though there was that smoke moving through, it was well below the federal health standard yesterday," says ADEQ Air Quality Meteorologist Matt Pace.
According to Pace, it’s typical for smoke to settle in low-lying areas at night as cold air drains down the topography.
Elsewhere, on the lightning-caused Wilbur Fire west of Clints Well smoke will be visible from the Verde Valley and Lake Mary Road along with state routes 260 and 87. Managers may also continue a 3 to 4,000-acre prescribed burn north of the San Francisco Peaks next week if the conditions are favorable.