Fires in the forest

SPRINGERVILLE — As the cold sets in across Arizona, the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests is keeping an eye on the fire.

Last weekend, the Forest Service worked to contain two small fires that began in the Springerville and Lakeside districts. The Homestead and Antelope fires, respectively, began Oct. 27, with the cause of both still under investigation. The service reported the Homestead fire at 220 acres and the Antelope at 81 acres as of its Oct. 29 media release. Both fires appeared to be well in hand as crews worked to contain them. “All lines are being held. The crews continue to mop up the edges,” the ASNF said of both. “No structures are threatened.”

The Forest Service also announced broadcast burn operations scheduled to begin Nov. 4, weather permitting. The burn is targeting fuels in an area last burned during the Wallow fire in 2011. “This burn will complete the last little piece of the Wallow West Unit 2B. It’s the block on Forest Road (FR) 25 and FR 68 junction and a couple blocks just south of the Arizona Game & Fish private property off the FR 25. This will be a maintenance burn, which will reduce the build-up of forest fuels and help reintroduce fire to the landscape, as well as protect the area south of Big Lake,” the ASNF wrote.

Smoke will be visible in Alpine, ANSF said, and cautioned motorists to be careful as smoke will be present up to a week following the burn. For more on this operation, contact the Alpine Ranger District at 928-339-5000.

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