Fire managers with the Coconino National Forest are utilizing a lightning-caused fire in the Crackerbox Canyon and Battleground Ridge area southeast of Clints Well to benefit the landscape and maintain a healthy ecosystem by allowing fire to fulfill its natural role in the environment. The forest thrives on fires such as these that are low severity and creep across the forest floor. They reduce fuels and the risk of severe wildfire, create safer conditions for residents, the public and firefighters, and also restore wildlife habitat by stimulating understory vegetation growth.
The Crackerbox Fire is located approximately four miles southeast of Clints Well and four miles southwest of C.C. Cragin (Blue Ridge) Reservoir. This low-intensity wildfire is being managed to achieve multiple benefits and objectives. It will increase in size as time goes on, however the maximum area planned for this fire is 5,000 acres. The area has not been treated in several decades, and has a sizeable amount of dead and down fuels that would contribute to the severity of a damaging high intensity wildfire in less favorable conditions. The area has recently received a significant amount of monsoon moisture, creating excellent conditions for allowing the wildfire to burn at low intensity. The fire was started by lightning on July 20, 2016.
Firefighters will be conducting burn operations as needed to keep the wildfire inside the management boundary, creating noticeable smoke. In addition to local communities, there are several trails and other recreation sites in the area, most notably the Arizona National Scenic and Fred Haught trail adjacent to the fire. Fire managers will closely monitor smoke impacts to communities and forest visitors. Trails will be rerouted as necessary to protect the safety of hikers, bikers, and equestrians.
The Crackerbox Fire is not a prescribed burn. This wildfire will be managed where needed and allowed to function as nature intended. This means it does not have a planned end date, but fire managers have carefully determined the perimeter within which the fire may run its natural course. Ultimately, fire will eventually treat port
Crackerbox Fire Overview
- Start Date: July 20, 2016.
- Cause: Lightning
- Location: Four miles south of Clints Well
- Current Size: 300 acres
- Fuels: Ponderosa pine forest. Heavy dead and won logs, pine needles, grass, and forest litter understory.
- Smoke: Smoke will disperse to the northeast with prevailing winds. Recreationists on the Arizona Trail and Fred Haught trails may see active fire and experience moderate smoke impacts. Smoke will be visible in the immediate area. Light smoke may impact local communities, C.C. Cragin (Blue Ridge) Reservoir, Houston Brothers Trail, and the immediate area. In the evening, smoke will settle in low lying areas, particularly East Clear Creek, with possible light smoke impacts to the Blue Ridge communities.