Firefighters conducted burnout operations associated with the Saber Fire on Thursday to remove fuel near the Arizona Public Service (APS) high-voltage electrical power lines in the area and expect to conduct more ignitions to protect values at risk over the weekend.
The Saber Fire has increased to 394 acres due to warmer, drier weather conditions and successful burnout operations along a dozer line adjacent to the APS high-voltage lines. The firing operations secured a control line by removing available fuels ahead of the fire to protect the infrastructure on the western perimeter.
Today, firefighters will monitor and patrol Thursday's operations to ensure the established control line remains secure. Crews will continue to prepare control lines further north along the fire perimeter and around values at risk in anticipation of burnout operations Saturday evening.
The fire continues to fulfill its natural role in the ecosystem by consuming debris accumulated on the forest floor—removing excess forest fuels to reduce the risk of high-severity wildfires, while replenishing nutrients back into the soil to stimulate vegetation growth.
Smoke is expected to lift during the day and may be visible from Sedona, Verde Valley, Oak Creek Canyon, state Route 89A, Interstate 40, Interstate 17 and Flagstaff. Cooler temperatures cause smoke to settle overnight into drainages and canyons flowing into communities at lower elevations below the Mogollon Rim.
The public should avoid the immediate fire area near Turkey Butte and drive with caution in the forest, as smoke may impact visibility where wildland firefighters are working.
Updates about the Saber Fire can be found on Inciweb
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SABER FIRE OVERVIEW
- Discovery date: August 2, 2019.
- Cause: Lightning.
- Origin location: Approximately 1.5 miles south of Turkey Butte lookout tower (Latitude/Longitude: 35.011°N, 111.901W).
- Current size: 394 acres.
- Current resources: 4 engines, 2 crews, a dozer and overhead personnel. Total approx. personnel: 74.
- Predicted smoke impacts: Expect smoke production to increase over the next few days. Significant smoke may impact forest roads south of Flagstaff and west of I-17. The smoke will be visible from Flagstaff, motorists in the area along I-17, I-40 and SR 89A. Smoke will likely impact areas of Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona communities during cooler evening hours.
- Current closures: None. However, campers should not establish any camps near the Mogollon Rim close to Turkey Butte due to upcoming burnout operations.