UPDATE: Power Fire

June 27th, 2017 at 5:19 PM

UPDATE 6:40pm:

Flagstaff, Arizona — Coconino National Forest firefighters responded to the Power Fire southwest of Fort Tuthill around 4 p.m. today and were able to stop the spread of the fire at 3.1 acres.

Coconino National Forest firefighters responded to a human-caused wildfire southwest of Fort Tuthill near its archery range around 4 p.m. today, which is producing thick smoke and the smoke is visible to those in the Flagstaff area, travelers near the junction of Interstate 40 and I-17.

Firefighters responded to the Power Fire with several engines, patrols, a hotshot crew, a water tender, an initial attack aircraft and helicopter being dispatched to a fire burning in about a 1.5 acres of forest land.

Forest leadership urges forest users to not have fires during these Stage II restrictions. Having a campfire on the national forest while under fire restrictions is a violation requiring a mandatory appearance in federal court.

Firefighting air attack resources were kept from entering the area because an unmanned aerial vehicle, also known as a drone, was flying over the fire and spotted in the area of operations. Whenever a drone is present firefighting aircraft must be removed from the area, for safety reasons.

With aircraft unavailable, a dozer was used to dig a line around the fire to stop its progress.

Firefighting was also aided by a previous fire treatment in this stand of trees which removed fire fuels from the ground and helped the environment of the area.

Forest Service officials continue to emphasize flying drones over or in close proximity to wildfires is illegal, endangers aviators as well as crews on the ground, and slows operations which potentially could result in the fire increasing in size.

Per the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, 43 CFR 9212.1(f), it is illegal to resist or interfere with the efforts of firefighter(s) to extinguish a fire. Doing so can result in a significant fine and/or a mandatory court appearance. So, be smart and just don’t fly your drone anywhere near a wildfire. No amount of video or photos are worth the consequences.

At approximately 3:50 p.m. Tuesday US Forest Service reported smoke in the area of Ft. Tuthill and Woody Mountain. A lookout reported sightings of smoke in that area and requested engines be dispatched to the area.

As updates are received, they will be posted to this page.

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