FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., Sept. 26, 2023 – The Coconino National Forest is responding to two separate lightning-caused wildfires: the Cecil Fire, located on the Flagstaff Ranger District.
The Coconino NF often strategically manages lightning-caused wildfires to benefit the overall health of the fire-adapted forest and plans to use the natural ignitions of the Cecil fire in this manner.
Wildfires are a natural part of the Coconino NF’s ecosystem, and when managed diligently and properly following the requisite planning process, improve the landscape long-term in several ways.
The Cecil Fire, located west of Highway 89A (GPS: 35.065883, -111.764550), is currently 40 acres. It was first reported Sept. 18, and has been moving at a low-to-moderate rate of intensity through Ponderosa pine.
The Cecil Fire is currently staffed by two engines, one engine crew, one hand crew and miscellaneous overhead. Firefighters have spent the past several days preparing lines for firing operations, which will begin today. The fire is planned to grow to 2,100 acres within the next several days as fire managers take advantage of favorable weather conditions.
Smoke will remain highly visible during firing operations from the Flagstaff and Sedona areas as well as along 89A. Smoke may settle into the Oak Creek Canyon area during the evening.
There are no structures at risk, and – while there is no closure order in place – forest visitors are asked to avoid the fire area and remain cognizant of firefighting operations.