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Smoke may be visible for the next three weeks
Coconino County Public Works, in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service, plans to ignite the annual green waste burn at the Willard Springs Transfer Station located 17 miles south of Flagstaff on the west side of I-17. The burn is scheduled to start Dec. 6, 2018 and is subject to change.
The burn reduces the existing stockpile of pine needles, tree trimmings and other green waste at the transfer station before the start of the 2019 fire season. It is expected to smolder until spring and will be monitored by the Mormon Lake Ranger Station, Pinewood Fire Department and the Coconino County Public Works Solid Waste Division.
The Willard Springs green waste burn is expected to produce smoke during its ignition period that will last for approximately three weeks. Based on wind and weather conditions, this smoke may be heavy at times and visible to motorists on I-17. The Coconino National Forest plans to post signage on I-17 as necessary to notify motorists about smoke from the burn and for people to drive with caution.
When smoke levels are high, the appropriate protective measures should be followed:
• Avoid breathing smoke if you can help it. Reduce or avoid outdoor activities.
• Make sure air conditioning/heating units have a clean filter in the air intakes. Devices with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters can reduce indoor pollution.
• Use the recycle or re-circulate mode on the air conditioner/heater in your home or car.
• Avoid activities which can increase indoor pollutants such as cooking and vacuuming.
People with pre-existing conditions should avoid exposure to the smoke as much as possible and consult their physician if they have any questions or experience health issues. More information regarding the health effect of smoke from prescribed burns and wildfires is available at https://az-coconinocounty2.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/995.
For more information, please contact Ron Hollamon, Coconino County Public Works Solid Waste Manager, at (928) 679-8300.