PRESCOTT, Ariz. — The Forest Service has been conducting prescribed burns in the Prescott area to remove excess trees and brush, casting a haze over the city and raising concerns about air pollution.

Yavapai County Community Health Services spokesman David McAtee told The Daily Courier ( that air quality is being monitored and an alert will be issued if necessary.

Forest Service spokeswoman Debbie Maneely says people have complained about the smoke.

“We have received a few calls,” she said. “We inform the callers that we work very hard to coordinate our burns to occur when smoke dispersal is at its optimum in an effort to minimize the effects.”

She said air quality officials are often at the burn sites.

“We work closely with ADEQ to keep our burns from violating their requirements,” Maneely said.

Resident Estherly Allen said that when wind spreads smoke from planned burns, she stays inside and closes off the house as much as possible.

“We’ve been here – we’re not running out of town, but it’s been a factor,” she said.

Ponderosa Park resident Lori Morrison said there seems to be enough open space around Prescott that the smoke will be able to dissipate.

“I’d rather have them do a controlled burn and protect our properties, rather than have something happen later that’s out of control,” she said.

In early October, the forest service was scheduled to burn three areas south of Prescott covering hundreds of acres apiece.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality recommends people take steps like turning on home air filters if they experience symptoms from smoke.

Information from: The Daily Courier,