- Associated Press - Saturday, October 7, 2017

PAYSON, Ariz. (AP) - Tonto National Forest officials plan a large prescribed burn north of Payson and say residual smoke will affect a number of rural communities in the area.

Forest officials say the 10-day burn on over 3 square miles (8 sq. kilometers) in the Shoofly area will begin Tuesday and that smoke may linger through Oct. 22.

Communities expected to be impacted include Beaver Valley, Flowing Springs, East Verde Estate, Star Valley and Whispering Pines.

The burn is intended to eliminate timber slash, debris, grass and brush as part of a strategy to prevent and suppress fires cost effectively while protecting and enhancing natural resources and watersheds.

Daily ignitions will cease by 3 p.m. to minimize the impact of smoke overnight.

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