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Williams News | Williams, Arizona

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9/26/2013 10:51:00 AM
Forest Service to burn 3,200 Acres near Williams
Williams-Grand Canyon News

Forest service fire managers may start a prescribed fire as soon as Monday in the City SE and McCracken East project areas 4 miles southeast of Williams, Ariz. along County Road 73.

At approximately 3200 acres, the burn will be the largest single prescribed burn of the fall on the Williams Ranger District. All prescribed fire activity is dependent on regional Forest Service approval, personnel availability, weather - including winds and ventilation, and approval from the ADEQ.

The fire will likely produce a significant amount of smoke. Managers hope to limit the affect of the smoke on residents by conducting all burning over a 4 to 5 day time period.

"Smoke is a trade-off for having a healthy forest in a fire adapted ecosystem" said Fire Information Officer Holly Krake. "By reaching out to thousands of people in our local communities, we hope to give as much advance notice as possible and minimize negative smoke impacts".

Fire managers predict daytime smoke to generally disperse to the northeast. Overnight smoke may settle in and around Williams, Sycamore Canyon, the Verde Valley and surrounding areas. A smoke column will be highly visible from Williams and adjacent portions of I-40.

Fire activity updates are available 24 hours-a-day at the Fire Information Line at (928) 635-8311.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Article comment by: Butch Coolidge

Wow it just keeps getting better! Thinning is unnecessary, but thin only around the perimeter of town. What does this mean? Smokey only fight natural fires? Great just let the abandoned campfire started forest fire go right? Which by the way are what leads to most catastrophic fires but you knew that. Not sure about the logical ideas you speak of, but I am entertained by your theories on controlled burns being started so firefighters can get paid, absolutely brilliant!

Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Article comment by: Sharon Atwater

I like you Roger. You have a lot of logical ideas. The government has found a way to give forest firefighters a job. They have to do something. Starting fires to prevent fires is ludicrous. Thinning is unnecessary since there has always been forest and lightning here even before the settlers. I suggest to Smoky, to fight the natural fires. Stop starting fires and thin only around the perimeter of the town. Have fire roads but PLEASE, stop starting fires and use the dead firewood to give away for citizens fireplaces.

Every time you start a fire as a "controlled burn", I cringe. You definitely need to be more diligent because one incident is all it takes, Smokey.

Posted: Monday, November 4, 2013
Article comment by: Roger Byrd

With all of the forest fires Arizona has every year and after all the thinning that has taken place over the decades, something doesn't seem to be working. I have another idea. How about burning down all of the trees in one big fire? That way, we could build houses everywhere and have great views. We would never have to worry about the Forest Service again.

Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Article comment by: Hey Rodger

Ever hear of the White Mtns??? Go ask them if they wished the the FS had thinned and used perscribed fire more often. Call the people in Greer and ask them about the Wallow fire.

Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Article comment by: Butch Coolidge

We'll Roger, I was hoping for more of an actual fuel reduction and healthy forest plan from a person who is so critical of people who have educations and actual hands on experience in this area. The "Mother Nature" plan not happening. This is the answer of the uninformed. Go sell your idea to the residents of parks, Sherwood Forest, the woods, whispering pines. Before development your plan may have made sense but these are modern times and they require modern techniques. Thinning, and prescribed burns are the only answer. I don't personally mind Monday-morning quarterbacks but please bring something to the table.

Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2013
Article comment by: Roger Byrd

Well Butch, how about letting mother nature handle the forests. I only remember that when we left it in the hand of the Forest Service a few years ago they almost burned Williams to the ground. Heck, mother nature could have done that...

Posted: Monday, October 14, 2013
Article comment by: Butch Coolidge

I for one am very thankful that we have so many fire behavior experts living in a community this size. We are lucky to have individuals who have the knowledge and experience to set the FS employees straight. With that said I am excited to hear what our local self proclaimed experts think we should do about the health of our forests. It may be a while for this to happen though, I see these same names offering their expert opinions on just about every topic in town.

Posted: Sunday, October 13, 2013
Article comment by: Lifelong Resident

Smokey is right. The fire at Yarnell spread quickly, because there was too much overgrown brush etc. This was stated on the news before the fire fighters were even killed. The forest service always burns during the fall. Most severe fires are caused by lightening, not from controlled burns.

Posted: Friday, October 11, 2013
Article comment by: smokey bear

Rodger Byrd:

What was the reason for the OUT of CONTROL FIRE??? Heavy fuels. That is the point. No thinning or controlled burn in the area. If there wasn't a fire there with heavy fuels, there wouldn't have been a tradgedy.

Local track record? The FS has controlled burns all the time, thousands of acres. The incident a few years ago was very very bad, however it was one incident. The town did not burn. Now as a mater of fact, since that area was burned, you don't have to worry about that area burning again from a camp fire that isn't put out or a lightening strike.

Posted: Friday, October 11, 2013
Article comment by: Larry Koenig

Pray for rain! Forest service seems to be a bit bored. They are like kids playing with matches. Very sad.

Posted: Friday, October 11, 2013
Article comment by: Roger Byrd

Smokey, I think your sad anecdote is plain wrong. That area of Arizona is not densely forested. And the investigation into that incident cited badly programmed radios, vague updates, and a 33-minute communication blackout while the men hiked out of their safe zone along with other multiple failures as the reason for the tragedy, not a lack of controlled burns. I don't know if you live in Williams but the "controlled burn" the Forest Service started a few years ago by incompetent employees led to millions of dollars in wasted tax money and needlessly risked the lives of dozens of men and women. Let the Forest Service do some thinning but let the locals collect what wood they want and then let contractors collect the rest. The burning is the scary part, especially with the local track record of the FS.

Posted: Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Article comment by: smokey bear

Well sure Roger, the forest service should do what the state did around Yarnell, nothing. Look what happened there, a small fire destroyed a town and 19 brave souls lost their lives. All because the surrounding area was never thinned or burned resulting in catastrophic results. The forest must be thinned and burned to prevent these types of fires!!!!

Posted: Thursday, October 3, 2013
Article comment by: Roger Byrd

Hurrah for the government shutdown. Now the forest service won't be able to burn the town down like they tried a few years back. I'll never let them forget it either. All the money spent and men risking their lives because of incompetent government employees. No one got in trouble for it. Typical. What a joke.

Posted: Friday, September 27, 2013
Article comment by: Ron Pauly

Just seems like a bad idea. Maybe they well wait for another windy day.
Could be a plan for getting those evil campers out of the woods. The feds/city have already done what they can to drive people away. As you guessed I'm a bit cynical.

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