SPRINGERVILLE — The Apache Sitgreaves National Forests will be managing a pair of wildfires that sprung up last week.
The Telephone and Rocky fires both occurred from lightning in the district last week, and the ANSF is using the fires as an opportunity to clear accumulated fuels in the area to prevent more dangerous wildfires in the future.
As of Sept. 8, the Telephone fire was at approximately 300 acres burning in the Lake Mountain area. According to a release from the Forest Service, the fire is being planned to burn within a 2,400-acre area. Three engines, one dozer, one crew and miscellaneous overhead resources have been dedicated to the fire.
“The overall strategy will be to contain the fire within existing road systems and natural control features,” the service wrote. “The Telephone fire is burning in continuous grasses and ponderosa pine fuel type. The goal is to allow the fire to burn safely and securely while meeting resource objectives. Growth potential may increase at times as weather conditions become warmer and drier over the next several days.”
The Rocky fire is, as of Sept. 8, at 5 acres and burning in the 2002 Rodeo-Chedeski fire scar. Fire managers are planning to keep the fire within a 3,700-acre area.
“The projected fire boundary will be FSR 300 on the south, FSR487 on the west, FSR166 on the north and FSR51 on the east. There are no threats near the fire,” officials said.
Smoke from fire activity was expected to grow over the next several days, and the ANSF cautioned drivers to be careful when operating a vehicle in affected areas. In particular, smoke was expected to be prevalent in the communities of Show Low, Vernon and Pinetop-Lakeside.
“Fire managers will monitor the smoke closely and make every effort to minimize the impacts to residents in the vicinity,” officials said.
More information — including information for specific districts within the forest — can be found online at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/asnf/.