Northern Arizona: No structures damaged in Prescott Valley fire

Pronghorn run through the grasslands between Prescott and Prescott Valley while a wildfire burns north of Highway 89A Monday afternoon.

Controlled burns have always been a source of contention in Northern Arizona. Smoke likes to follow and settle in river valleys.

We all agree that it’s unpleasant to have to breathe the stuff. No one enjoys itchy eyes and a hacking cough. That’s what we have to live with during these fires that are purposely ignited as a fire-management strategy.

But the inconvenience of these controlled burns is better than the alternative.

Those who have lived in Arizona since 2000 should well remember the Rodeo-Chedeski and the Wallow fires in the eastern part of Arizona and the resulting smoke that blanketed the entire state.

Controlled burns are viewed as part of the overall Forest Service management plan to spare us from raging wildfires that consume hundreds of thousands acres of forest land and leave the rest of the state buried in smoke so thick that visibility is all but lost within 100 yards.

Let’s face it. In Arizona, we are going to have fires during the summer months. They can be those that are managed and controlled, or those that rage for weeks.

Both inconvenience us with smoke. So think of it as a lesser of two evils. It’s something we have to live with in Arizona.

Yes, we are inconvenienced by smoke from controlled burns. But it’s a lot better than the alternative.

— Verde News

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