ST. GEORGE — If you travel south by southeast and see smoke, it’s likely a prescribed burn that is underway in the Kanab Creek drainage.

Map shows the Arizona Strip of the Bureau of Land Management and the area impacted by the prescribed burn currently being conducted, Dec. 4, 2023 | Image courtesy of Bureau of Land Management, St. George News

The Bureau of Land Management’s Arizona Strip District said in a news release that the controlled burn focuses on the removal of burn-cut and piled invasive vegetation and is part of an ongoing riparian restoration project.

Burning in the Kanab Creek drainage, located 30 miles south of Fredonia, Arizona, started in November and may continue through March 2024. The riparian restoration project works to enhance wildlife habitat and protect cultural and natural resources, the news release said.

Visitors to this region of the Arizona Strip may see some light smoke during the burn operation. Smoke emissions will be managed in accordance with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality regulations.

Prescribed burns must meet strict weather-related and environmental factors prior to ignition. BLM Arizona Strip District fire staff will monitor on-site weather and fuel conditions and manage prescribed fire activity, before, during and after ignition operations, the news release said.

No local road closures are expected but public access may be restricted during ignition to ensure public safety. Signs will be posted to notify the public. Use caution when traveling near the project area. Those who intend to camp, hunt or recreate on the Arizona Strip are advised to call the BLM public lands information center at 435-688-3200 for information on potential prescribed fires in the area.

Funding for this prescribed burn came from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021. The legislation provides funds for fuel treatments to help reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and improve wildlife habitat and restoration of the riparian area, the news release said.