Forest Service encouraging natural burn of Pemberton Fire
More smoke expected with hand, aerial ignition operations
Updated as of Wednesday, August 14, 2019 8:23 PM
Firefighters are conducting both hand and aerial ignitions along preplanned containment lines to assist the lightning-started Pemberton Fire fulfill its natural role of reducing dense forest fuels, according to the Prescott National Forest (PNF).
This tactic is commonly used nowadays by forest managers with natural wildfires as a means of improving the ecosystem’s overall health, PNF said in a news release.
As such, smoke from the Pemberton Fire can continue to be expected for an unspecified amount of time.
“Due to smoke impacts, we ask that while traveling on the roads around and near the fire area to use caution for public and firefighter safety,” said Cheyenne Warner, a spokesperson with the PNF.
Warner said that Prescott drivers may experience delays on Fair Oaks Road because of fire traffic and firefighters working along the roadway.
Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) continue to be in place over the Pemberton and Sheridan (a second of the three burning locally) fires to provide a safe environment for firefighting aircraft being used for aerial operations, Warner said.
Located 13 miles northwest of Prescott, the Pemberton Fire has so far burned 965 acres. It began on Aug. 6 and is zero-percent contained. Resources assigned to the fire include five engines, one crew and one helicopter.
PEMBERTON FIRE OBJECTIVES
According to the PNF, forest managers have the following objectives in mind for the Pemberton Fire:
1) Tactical decisions are based on a risk-informed approach that limits firefighter and aviator exposure to only what is necessary to meet incident objectives with the highest probability of success.
2) Restoration of juniper grasslands, pinon-juniper evergreen shrub and pinon-juniper woodland is achieved using moderate to high fire behavior, creating mosaic patterns on mesa tops and hillsides, and low severity fire within drainage bottoms.
3) Restoration of chaparral vegetation type is achieved by utilizing moderate to high fire behavior, creating a mosaic pattern of burned/unburned areas.
4) Fire impacts to private property and private and public infrastructure are minimized in and around private inholdings and the communities of Fair Oaks, Rancho Diamante and Long Meadow.
5) Suppression impacts to natural and cultural values are minimized.
6) Impacts to range infrastructure, improvements and operations are minimized on the Spider and Long Meadow Cattle Ranches.
The public can obtain additional information via the following:
• Prescott NF Forest Website: www.fs.usda.gov/prescott
• Twitter: @PrescottNF
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/PrescottNF
• Arizona Fire Restrictions: www.firerestrictions.us/az
• Fire Information: 928-925-1111
• Local Ranger Stations: Bradshaw Ranger District, 928-443-8000; Chino Valley Ranger District 928-777-2200; Verde Ranger District 928-567-4121.