Wildfire northeast of Flagstaff

May 22nd, 2019 at 2:08 PM

According to the Coconino National Forest, The Maroon Fire, a lightning fire, is being allowed to take its natural course 16 miles northeast of Flagstaff. Smoke may be seen from this fire near Leupp Rd.

Fire managers with the Coconino National Forest are making use of a lightning-caused fire to benefit the landscape and maintain a healthy ecosystem by allowing the fire to fulfill its natural role and consume forest debris.

The 26-acre Maroon Fire is approximately 3 miles north of Leupp Road and 7 miles east of U.S. Highway 89 in an area consisting of cinders, pine, juniper, grass and brush. The area includes a World War II artillery training area with unexploded ordnance (UXO) surrounding Maroon Crater, as well as public utilities infrastructure and homes several miles northeast of the fire.

Allowing the fire to move across the landscape and consume forest fuels will help protect vital infrastructure and homes in the area from severe wildfires. Additionally, the wildfire may benefit a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operation planned for next year to remove UXO on Maroon Crater by burning grasses and forest fuels, exposing ordnance that would have otherwise not been visible.

Firefighter safety is a priority, so firefighters will not be entering a 565-acre area of Maroon Crater that contains UXO.

This fire, as with any wildfire, does not have a planned end date, but firefighters are restricting fire activity to a 14,700-acre planning area where the fire may run its natural course. This does not mean the fire will move across the entire planning area, as specific edges of a fire may be suppressed to protect public safety, private property, cultural sites, major transmission power lines, trailheads, dispersed camping sites, and more. Additionally, some areas may not naturally burn, and precipitation may extinguish the Maroon Fire at any time, which would bring the fire to a conclusion.

MAROON FIRE OVERVIEW

  • Maroon Fire Inciweb Site: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6352/
  • Discovery date: May 16, 2019 at approximately 3:45 p.m.
  • Cause: Lightning.
  • Location: Approximately 16 miles northeast of Flagstaff, near Leupp Road, Forest Roads 244 and 244A. (Latitude/Longitude: 35.3088, -111.4076)
  • Current size: 26 acres in a 14,700 acre planning area.
  • Current resources: One engine, prevention patrol and overhead personnel (approximately 10 people).
  • Predicted smoke impacts: Light smoke is predicted to move northeast and may impact homes near Moon Crater, east of Maroon Crater, areas of the Hopi Reservation, and motorists along Leupp Road. Smoke may appear thicker at times due to burnout operations or as the wildfire consumes larger trees. This is normal.
  • Current closures: None.
  • Recent and current operations: Wildland firefighting crews are monitoring the fire and preparing possible burnout operations to ensure it remains in the planning area.

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