Fire personnel from the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests are responding jointly to a lightning-caused wildfire located on the northeast side of Kendrick Peak in Kendrick Mountain Wilderness. The 300-acre Boundary Fire is currently burning on the Flagstaff Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest but is expected to move onto the Kaibab National Forest side of the boundary line within the next several days. Therefore, a joint fire organization has been established.
Leadership of the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests plans to employ an indirect suppression strategy on the Boundary Fire due to the significant safety concerns of putting fire personnel in certain areas on the mountain. The wildfire is burning in heavy dead and down trees and forest debris left from the Pumpkin Fire of 2000. Snags, steep slopes and overall hazardous terrain have led fire officials to identify a system of roads at the base of the mountain to serve as boundaries from which to halt the wildfire’s progression.
Because of this strategy, it is likely that the Boundary Fire will eventually move across much of Kendrick Mountain over the course of the coming weeks, depending on weather and fuels conditions. Forest managers said this strategy will not only reduce the potential risks to fire personnel but will also help in maintaining a healthy ecosystem by reintroducing natural fire back into the forest based on the best available science and risk management techniques. It is anticipated that the Boundary Fire will help clean up much of the dead and down material left by the Pumpkin Fire, thereby reducing the future probability of high-intensity wildfire and its potentially severe and negative fire effects.
Name: Boundary Fire
Reported: June 1
Location: About 17 miles northwest of Flagstaff burning on Kendrick Mountain on the Flagstaff Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest; latitude 35̊ 25’54.9” longitude 111̊ 49’ 53.0”
Size: 300 acres
Fuels: The wildfire is burning in heavy dead and down trees and forest debris left from the Pumpkin Fire of 2000.
Resources: Flagstaff and Mormon Lake hotshot crews, three engines, one dozer, a fuels crew, local fire prevention units and various support personnel; approximately 70 total fire personnel are currently assigned.
Expected Actions: The overall strategy of the Boundary Fire is to use a mix of point protection, confine, monitor and suppression to safely contain the fire within the planning area. Boundary roads have been established for the wildfire around the base of Kendrick Mountain. The fire area has heavy accumulations of downed logs and standing dead trees that create safety issues for firefighters. The strategy will allow for fire personnel safety while also reducing the heavy amount of fuels remaining from previous fires and allowing fire to play its natural role within a fire-adapted ecosystem.
Closures: A closure order is currently being established for the fire area. Details regarding the closure area will be provided as soon as they are available.
Smoke Impacts: Smoke will be visible from Flagstaff, Baderville, Parks, Williams, Interstate 40, and the Grand Canyon. Smoke is predicted to impact the communities of Cameron and Tuba City during the day, and Spring Valley, Pumpkin Center, Parks and Baderville during the evening hours.
Additional information sources, including maps, will be provided as soon as they are available.