Elevated gusts expand Gate 13 Fire; regional agencies collaborate on next course of action

February 10, 2018 - 10:45 pm

Camp Navajo firefighters could not contain the Gate 13 Fire after wind gusts accelerated up to 45-mph and pushed the wildfire toward thick-forested areas east of Volunteer Canyon.

This change forced installation leaders to initiate the next phase of their firefighting plan.

Arizona State Forestry and Fire Management agencies will join with the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs personnel to establish a unified command to manage the fire while continuing to use existing resources that are in place on ground. Up to 70 additional personnel are expected to join this coordinated effort for three to five days.

Water drops from Arizona National Guard Blackhawk helicopters are scheduled to continue once morning assessments are complete.

The air space around the fire area will remain closed to non-firefighting aircraft assets until further notice.

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality will continue to monitor air quality from Ponderosa Fire Station in Bellemont and in Kachina Village, 6 miles south of Flagstaff near I-17.

Safety signs are in place along I-40 to warn drivers of the potential hazards caused by smoke along the freeway.

The fire remains at approximately 900-acres on an area that precludes active fire suppression and remains within the established containment lines.

This fire poses no risk to facilities or current operations of the installation. This fire is well contained within the boundaries of the Camp Navajo installation. The fire is burning slowly in Volunteer Canyon and more rapidly in the open grasslands.

Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, which includes Camp Navajo, is in close coordination with Coconino and Kaibab National Forests, Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, other local fire district partners and Coconino County.

The fire is burning in an area that is unsafe for firefighters to actively conduct fire suppression operations, therefore, a containment strategy was chosen. Due to the inability to actively suppress this fire in its current location we anticipate smoke in the region for an extended period.

Fire details:

Location: Camp Navajo

Start date: February 6, 2017

Size: Approximately 900 acres

Cause: Demolition operations

Resources Assigned: 16 personnel

  • 3 Graders
  • 2 Dozers
  • 3 Water tenders
  • 2 Type 6 engines
  • 2 Black Hawk Helicopters with Bambi Buckets

Vegetation: Ponderosa pine, spruce, juniper and grasslands

Fire Information:

Arizona Emergency Information Network: https://ein.az.gov/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArizEIN

Twitter: https://twitter.com/azein

Arizona National Guard Public Affairs (602) 513-6482 or [email protected]