HAPPY JACK, Ariz., Sept. 29, 2023 – Fire managers have successfully treated 1,462 acres of Mogollon Rim Ranger District (MRRD) land following three days of firing operations on the lightning-caused Still Fire, which is located 4 miles northeast of the Highway 87 and Lake Mary Road junction.
Crews finished firing operations Thursday evening and have pivoted to patrolling and holding lines as wind speeds pick up heading into the weekend.
A closure order has been put into effect for the fire area. Possible intermittent closures due to smoke impact may be implemented along area roads, including Highway 87.
“While it’s important to us to guard our local communities from future catastrophic wildfire by treating as much land as possible during ideal wind and weather conditions, we’re heading into less-than-ideal wind and weather conditions for firing operations,” said Incident Commander Adam White.
Land treatment removes fuels – such as dead trees and pine needle accumulation – from the forest floor to reduce the risk of high-intensity wildfire.
Roughly 41 personnel are assigned to the Still Fire, including three engines, one Hotshot crew, one fuels crew, a dozer and miscellaneous overhead.
Firing operations may continue next week following this weekend’s wind event if opportunities are available as MRRD land managers want to treat as much of the landscape as safely possible.
There are no structures threatened by the Still Fire, which is burning through pine litter and was first reported Sept. 14.
Smoke impacts will remain noticeable in the Blue Ridge communities, along Highway 87, around the southern portion of Lake Mary Road and in the Little Springs area.
Forest visitors to remain cognizant of firefighting operations. Recreationists area asked to abide by all posted signage and barriers, and motorists are reminded to expect traffic delays.
The Arizona Department of Transportation will be assisting motorists along Highway 87 during firing operations for public safety.
Highway 87 may close at any time for public safety and motorists are reminded to check the Arizona Department of Transportation website for information regarding state road closures.
The Still Fire is being managed to reduce hazardous fuels and improve forest health as guided by Forest Service’s 10-year Wildfire Crisis Strategy