The Coconino and Kaibab National Forests announced that both agencies would take advantage of favorable weather conditions for prescribed burns north of Flagstaff, with some beginning as early as Tuesday.
The Coconino National forest will burn 1,160 acres of forest north of the San Francisco Peaks, along Highway 180. The burn is expected to begin on April 23 and continue into April 24, according to a media release.
Then, beginning April 24, and continuing over the next two weeks, officials with the Kaibab National Forest say they also plan to begin prescribed burns near Williams as well as near Tusayan.
Officials say they hope to finish a project started in 2017 by burning 5,200 acres of forest 10 miles southeast of Williams between County Road 73 and Whitehorse Lake. For this project, a helicopter may be used to light fires by air and up to 1000 acres a day could be treated during the burn.
Near Tusayan and south of Grand Canyon National Park, officials say they will burn about 500 acres in two areas. The first is three miles northeast of Tusayan and then, if weather conditions remain favorable, another project 18 miles southeast of Tusayan.
Officials say the prescribed burns are part of the larger plan to reduce hazardous fuels and improve forest health on the Coconino National Forest.
Smoke will be highly visible at times near all of the locations, according to the release.
During the burns, travelers are likely to encounter firefighters and their vehicles. Drivers are asked to slow down and drive with heightened awareness when passing by burn areas.
On the southern half of the Kaibab National Forest, turkey hunters are advised to be aware of these fire operations and use caution if hunting nearby.