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Prescribed Burns Start Monday North Of Payson

Starting Monday, fire specialists will start five days of prescribed burns north of Payson.

Tonto National Forest spokesperson Carrie Templin says this is only possible because of recent monsoon storms bringing much-needed moisture to the area. She said that while forest officials were gearing up for a destructive wildfire season, fire activity has been below normal in the Tonto.

“Depending on what the weather does, we could have additional fires again,” she said, “but for the time being with the moisture and the humidity we have, the chances of a fire are significantly reduced.”

The Tonto was one of several national forests in the state that experienced closures this season. While restrictions are common, closures are fairly rare.

When senior field correspondent Stina Sieg was 22, she moved to the desert. She hasn’t been the same since. At the time, the Northern California native had just graduated from college and was hankering for wide-open spaces. So she took a leap and wrote to nearly every newspaper in New Mexico until one offered her a job. That’s how she became the photographer for a daily paper in the small town of Silver City. And that’s when she realized how much she loved storytelling. In the years since, the beauty of having people open up and share their stories — and trust her to tell them — has never gotten old to Sieg. Before coming to KJZZ, Sieg was also a writer and photographer at newspapers in Glenwood Springs, Colorado; Moab, Utah; and the Smoky Mountains town of Waynesville, North Carolina. She always had her hand in public radio, too, including hosting Morning Edition on a fill-in basis at WNCW in North Carolina. It’s still the best music station she’s found. When she’s not reporting, chances are Sieg is running, baking, knitting or driving to some far-flung town deep in the desert — just to see what it looks like.