Weekend update on forest’s lightning fires

July 29th, 2018 at 8:47 AM

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., July 27, 2018, For Immediate Release – Fire managers with the Coconino National Forest are making use of lightning-caused fires to benefit the landscape and maintain a healthy ecosystem by allowing these fires to fulfill their natural role and consume forest debris.

Information and details about the Bristow, Seep and Deer fires, including their objectives, will be updated on Inciweb under the name of the fire at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/. Quick updates will also be provided via the Forest’s social media sites, to include Twitter at www.twitter.com/coconinonf (@CoconinoNF) and Facebook at www.facebook.com/CoconinoNF (@CoconinoNF).

These fires, as with any wildfire, do not have planned end dates, but firefighters determine a specific planning area within which the fire may run its natural course. However, this does not mean the fire will move across the entire planning area, as specific edges of a fire may be suppressed to protect certain values such as public safety, private property, cultural sites, major transmission power lines, trailheads, dispersed camping sites and more.

Thunderstorms building in the area of the fires may randomly change wind directions making smoke patterns very difficult to predict. Additionally, monsoon weather and precipitation may extinguish any of these wildfires at any time, which would bring the fire to a conclusion.


  1. BRISTOW FIRE OVERVIEW (https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6010/)

Discovery date: July 20, 2018.

Cause: Lightning.

Location: Approximately 6 miles southeast of Munds Park and east of Interstate17. (Lat/Long: 34.863611, -111.598500)

Current size: 643 acres.

Current resources: Soaking rain has caused the number of personnel to be reduced to 15 firefighters which consist of three engines and miscellaneous overhead.

Predicted smoke impacts: Thunderstorm activity on the Bristow Fire Thursday afternoon created downdrafts and unpredicted smoke impacts along I-17, Munds Park, Sedona and into the Verde Valley. Both the Arizona Department of Transportation and the Forest Service continue to monitor conditions along I-17.

Current closures: None.

Recent and current operations: Crews continue to construct fire lines and remove hazardous trees along FR 226 & 127, anticipating burning will resume in several days after fuels dry out.


  1. SEEP FIRE OVERVIEW (https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6011/)

Discovery date: July 17, 2018

Cause: Lightning.

Location: Approximately 3 miles north of Kendrick Park, east of state Route 180 along Forest Roads 523 and 9001E. (Lat/Long: 35.463500, -111.752889)

Current size: 300 acres and expected to increase.

Current resources: Three engines, a partial type I crew and overhead make up approximately 25 firefighters on site.

Predicted smoke impacts: Light to moderate smoke is expected along state Route 180 over the next several days. With the unsettled weather in the area smoke may drift into local housing developments including White Horse Hills, Doney Park, Cheshire Foothills and the Timberline areas.

Current closures: None.

Recent and current operations: Seep fire activity has increased with drying conditions and firefighter ignitions. Fire is burning primary in grass and juniper vegetation with heavy dead and down debris from the 1996 Horseshoe fire. Two new fires were reported within the planning area will be used to meet the Seep Fire objectives. The planned action is to utilize the existing road system for fire containment.


  1. DEER FIRE OVERVIEW (https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6012/

Discovery date: July 13, 2018.

Cause: Lightning.

Location: Approximately 8 miles southwest of C.C. Cragin Reservoir and 3 miles northeast of Kehl Springs Campground. (Lat/Long: 34.471194, -111.290111)

Current size: 800 acres. This wildfire is expected to grow to about 1,800 acres before it is fully suppressed.

Resources: One type II hand crew, a fuels crew, three engines and several overhead make up about 45 firefighters on site.

Predicted smoke impacts: Smoke impacts from this wildfire may include C.C. Cragin Reservoir, Blue Ridge communities and the Blue Ridge Ranger Station throughout the weekend. Overnight drainage of the smoke may impact the Strawberry and Pine areas.

Current closures: None. However, there may be temporary traffic control along Forest Road 300 to allow firefighters to safely work.

Recent and current operations: Burnout operations are planned through the weekend. If the weather allows, this will complete all ignitions.


  1. CHIMNEY FIRE OVERVIEW (https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6009/)

Discovery date: July 9, 2018.

Cause: Lightning.

Location: Approximately 3 miles northwest of Munds Park, along Forest Roads 253B and 253F. (Latitude/Longitude: 34.958306, -111.707194)

Current size: 210 acres.

Current resources: The fire is in monitor status which is being patrolled several times each day.

Predicted smoke impacts: Smoke may be visible in the area as heavy fuels continue to burn.

Recent and current operations: No further operations are planned. This will be the last update on the Chimney Fire.

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