The Bert Fire, discovered May 29, was caused by lightning and has grown to approximately 4,395 acres. It is located near the junction of forest road 144 and highway 180, approximately 10 miles southeast of the community of Valle.
Active fire is steadily moving toward the south and west through the pinyon juniper woodlands consuming fuels and meeting the desired objectives. The fire has moved away from highway 180 and burning towards the Hobble Mountain’s southeast of Valle. Crews are on scene daily monitoring fire behavior and movement.
An increase in smoke production is expected and will be noticeable from interstate 40, Highways 180 and 64 and from several adjacent communities including Valle, Tusayan, Williams, Flagstaff, Parks, Spring Valley and Cameron. Smoke may impact these communities periodically depending on shifting wind direction and changing weather patterns. Predominant southwest winds are expected to transport smoke away from adjacent residential areas however some smoke may occasionally drift over the Coconino rim to the northeast.
The Bert Fire is burning in a pinion juniper fuel type and is being allowed to move naturally to achieve objectives that include reducing hazardous fuel accumulations, improving wildlife habitat, and restoring grasslands and overall forest health.
The goal is to allow the fire to burn as it would naturally as long as it can be safely managed while benefiting forest resources. Growth potential may be significant at times as weather conditions become warmer and drier over the next several days.
Bert Fire summary:
- Start date: May 28
- Size: 4,395 acres
- Containment: 30%
- Cause: lightning
- Location: Near junction of Forest Road 144 and Highway 180, 10 miles SE of Valle, Ariz.
- Total personnel: 30