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Fire Crews From Around The West Worked On The Observatory Mesa Prescribed Burn Tuesday West Of Flagstaff

The Flagstaff Prescribed Fire Training Exchange conducted a 72 acre burn on Observatory Mesa Tuesday. Officials say smoke may settle into areas of central Flagstaff, downtown, Southside, Railroad Springs and NAU. The burn contained mostly high grass and some downed trees and logs. Flagstaff Fire Department’s Forest Health Supervisor Neal Chapman says there are many benefits to Tuesday’s burn. He says the area “being on the southwest side of Flagstaff, that’s where our winds often come during fire season, so having these protected areas that have reduced wildfire risk on the southwest side of Flagstaff are a huge priority for us.” Chapman adds, “there’s also a lot of ecological value up here from forest health and there’s a lot of recreation value up here as well that needs to be protected.” The burn re-introduced fire that will burn across the forest floor, as frequent, low-intensity fire removes accumulated smaller fuels and recycles nutrients in the soils to promote healthy vegetation and wildlife habitat. This approach helps to restore forests to healthier conditions and improve the safety of the communities around them. Crews from Flagstaff, Nevada, Colorado and South Dakota participated in the burn. The project is expected to continue the rest of the week, with burns near Rogers Lake and on Observatory Mesa possible.