A swath of Tucson's west side could see smokey skies later this week.
A controlled burn is set for Thursday March 8 at Sweetwater Wetlands near Interstate 10 and West Prince Road, Tucson Fire Department announced Tuesday.
The effort will provide training for firefighters while helping the city prepare for its annual mosquito control program. The burn aims to remove thatched, dead vegetation that provides cover for aquatic mosquito larvae during breeding season, a fire department news release said.
Tucson Water applies low-toxicity larvicide to the wetlands during mosquito season, and burning off the dead vegetation beforehand helps to make those treatments more effective.
"Citizens who may be sensitive to smoke generated by the controlled burn are asked to take precautionary measures or avoid the area," the news release said.
Tucson Wildlife Center will be on scene this year to rescue any animals injured during the burn, it said.
The wetlands will be closed to the public Thursday and will reopen on Friday, March 9.