Despite recent rain, the Valentine Fire persists with smoldering and creeping in its Southeast section, prompting the Tonto National Forest Type 3 Fire Management Team to schedule a community meeting tonight at 6 pm MST at the Young Community Center for updates, while hand crews and aerial resources will maintain firing operations as conditions dry up today.
Operations: Yesterday, crews checked the moisture received from the previous rain. Even with the rain, the fire is continuing to creep and smolder in the Southeast section. On FSRD 411, the top duff layer was dry, with moisture still present on the bottom. As conditions dry up today, hand crews and aerial resources will continue the firing operations.
Fire Ecology: Humidity, precipitation, temperature, wind, and cloud cover all affect how long it takes for fuels to dry out enough to burn, but the size, shape, compactness, and arrangement of the fuels also are important. Consider a large log, a few twigs, and a handful of pine needles that have just been through an hour of heavy rain. The pine needles are very thin, and after sitting in the sun for an hour, can dry out enough to burn. The twigs will take a little longer and it may be a day or two before they’re dry enough to burn. It can take over a month for a large log sitting in the same sunny spot to dry completely, though the outside of it may start to burn after just a day. The Valentine is still burning in stump holes, logs, and areas with deep duff. As fuels continue to dry out we expect the fire to ‘wake up’ and start slowly moving around again.
Weather: Yesterday, conditions were mainly dry, with a shower that passed over the fire without any effects. Conditions are expected to remain mostly dry with less chance for showers today and continue through the first part of next week.
Closures: An emergency closure order for the Valentine Fire will go into effect 6 a.m. Sept. 5, 2023. The public is asked to avoid the fire area. The purpose of the closure order is to protect public health and safety during the Valentine Fire, and to protect assigned firefighting personnel engaging in wildland firefighting operations. Signs and gates will be in place to remind the public not to enter the fire area. Please visit the Alerts and Notices page for more information. https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/tonto/alerts-notices.
Safety: The health and safety of firefighters, and the public are always the highest priority. Members of the public are asked to avoid the fire area.
Smoke: Smoke from the Valentine Fire may be visible in the surrounding areas for many days. Smoke will be heavier in the mornings as it settles into the lower elevations and will lift as temperatures increase. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures An interactive smoke map at https://fire.airnow.gov/ allows you to zoom into your area to see the latest smoke conditions.
- Size: 2,843 acres
- Start Date: August 16, 2023
- Cause: Lightning
- Containment: 49%
- Total personnel: 160
- Location: 11 miles northeast of Young, Arizona and 27 miles east of Payson, Arizona
Information Links and Contacts:
Tonto National Forest https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/tonto/fire(link is external)
InciWeb https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident-information/aztnf-valentine-fire(link is external)
Fire Email [email protected](link sends e-mail)
Fire Information Line (928) 421-4579 • Office Hours: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM