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More prescribed burns planned for Coconino National Forest next week

Crews conducted back-burns on the lightning-caused Volunteer Fire west of Flagstaff on the Coconino National Forest on Fri, June 2, 2023.
Ryan Heinsius
Crews conducted back-burns west of Flagstaff on the Coconino National Forest on Fri, June 2, 2023.

Coconino National Forest officials plan to implement several prescribed fire projects next week as weather conditions become favorable.

Crews will start work on the 1,000-acre Upper Beaver Creek Prescribed Fire project near Stoneman Lake on Sunday. The fire is a multi-day project spread out over 10 days.

Smoke is expected to impact the Stoneman Lake communities, the Interstate 17 corridor at Forest Road 215 (Stoneman Lake Road and Rattlesnake Canyon), the Beaver Creek area and areas south of Mormon Lake Village. No road or trail closures are anticipated.

They’re also set to begin the Horseshoe Project north of Bellemont on Monday. The four-day project will cover more than 6,000 acres.

Daytime smoke impacts will be felt along Highway 180 around the Arizona Nordic Village and Kendrick Park. Bellemont and areas along Interstate 40 will likely notice nighttime impacts. The Lava River Cave will be temporarily closed during a portion of the burn.

The use of prescribed fire can help reduce hazardous fuels across the forest floor, such as downed trees and pine needles. They can also prevent high-intensity and catastrophic wildfires during the summer months.