Coconino fire managers busy with 104 lightning fires so far this year

July 30th, 2016 at 10:51 AM

Flagstaff, Ariz., July 30, 2016, For Immediate Release — Fire managers on Coconino National Forest are using several lightning-caused fires to benefit the landscape by allowing them to burn in confined areas that have not seen fire in decades.

The fires will consume heavy fuel accumulation—dead vegetation on the forest floor—which will cultivate healthier wildlife habitat by breaking down dead underbrush and releasing nutrients into the soil so new vegetation can thrive.

Additionally, two recent lightning-caused fires were suppressed and contained yesterday evening. This includes the Stump Fire, located about a mile northeast of Oak Creek Canyon Vista, and the Thunderstruck Fire, located approximately five miles northeast of Clints Well.

The following comprise active lightning-caused fires that are currently being managed:


CRACKERBOX FIRE

Start Date: July 20, 2016.

Location: Four miles southeast of Clints Well.

Current Size: 75 acres.

Resources: One engine; total of about five firefighters.

Smoke: Predicted to disperse to the east/southeast today. Smoke will be minimal and light, but visible to those in the immediate area of the fire, Forest Road 300 and possibly by those recreating at Blue Ridge Reservoir.

Closures: None.

Operations: This fire has received a lot of moisture recently and is slowly creeping across the landscape, so not producing a lot of smoke. Crews will be monitoring the fire as it continues to burn and smolder. Activity on this fire is predicted to be low.


PINE HILL FIRE

Start Date: July 21, 2016.

Location: Four miles east of Mormon Lake.

Current Size: 516 acres and has reached its containment lines.

Resources: One engine; total of about 6 firefighters.

Smoke: Because of heavy dead and down fuel loading within the perimeter of the fire it will be putting up a moderate amount of smoke until it receives precipitation. Smoke will be visible to those in the Mormon Lake community and those traveling along Lake Mary Road in the area of Mormon Lake.

Closures: None.

Operations: No growth is expected on the fire except for small areas interior which may consume in the next couple of days.

 

EDEN FIRE

Start Date: July 27, 2016.

Location: Four miles northeast of Clints Well.

A FOREST CLOSURE IS NOW IN EFFECT FOR THIS AREA: The closure area is bounded by these Forest Roads: Forest Road 211, FR 211G, FR 211E, FR136, and FR 9728.

 

FR 211, FR82, and FR136 are open for public travel outside of the effected area. All other roads in the restricted area are closed. This Order only applies to National Forest System Lands.

Current Size: 208 acres.

Resources: Two engines, two crews, one fuels crew; total of about 55 firefighters.

Smoke: Predicted to disperse to the east toward Jacks Canyon. Moderate smoke will be visible to travelers along state Route 87 and the Clints Well/Blue Ridge community.

Closures: None.

Operations: Resources will focus on firing operations along the Forest Road 211C to protect private property. In addition, crews constructed hand lines in specific areas that tie in with existing forest roads to be used as control features. The fire is burning unabated between Forest Road 211K and 9746E.

 

As wildfire seeks to fulfil its natural role in the ecosystem, fire managers continue to consider many factors in managing fire—including available resources, weather conditions, smoke impacts to the public, risk to firefighters and benefit to the landscape.

Fire is a natural part of the forest ecosystem and will occur—either catastrophically or under safer conditions such as prescribed and managed fires.

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