3. What is being done to reduce the smoke impact to the community?
Fire managers recognize that smoke is a concern to many people in our communities and unfortunately all fires produce smoke. Over the last several years fire managers have been responsive to public concerns about the effects of smoke. Special attention is directed towards measures that reduce potential impacts to communities and the environment:
- Minimize smoke impacts by allowing fuel moistures to become dry enough that they burn rapidly, significantly reducing the smoke produced.
- Fewer burn days are scheduled to shorten the season when burning occurs.
- Burning operations are conducted in such a manner that optimum venting and smoke dispersal will occur. Time of ignition, burning patterns and terminating the day’s operation are carefully executed and monitored to minimize smoke in adjacent communities.
- Fire managers burn only the amount of fuels or vegetation necessary to meet resource objectives. Many projects have a mosaic pattern that leaves unburned areas to mimic fire’s natural process and landscape characteristics.
We are required to follow all state and federal air quality laws. Air quality approval and monitoring are conducted according to National Air Quality Standards as established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEN). We will not and can not burn without prior approval from ADEQ. We will stop burning if ADEQ informs of us of a potential negative impact or a violation of the above standards.