The USFS is aware of the biological and cultural significance of Power’s Garden and other historic structures to the people of southern Arizona and has taken special actions to ensure the protection of these resources. Yesterday, the fire reached Rattlesnake Canyon where firefighters used water drops from a Type 1 heavy helicopter to slow down the fire as it approached the bottom of the canyon.
Structures have been wrapped with fire resistant material and brush removed around the structures to establish buffers.
A Type 1 heavy helicopter assigned to the fire yesterday was used to manage the speed of the fire as it approached the bottom of Rattlesnake Canyon. This activity will continue in the Power’s Garden area today.
Over the next few days, crews are also available for initial attack if lightning occurs in the region with forecasted thunderstorms.
The fire is being managed within a planning area boundary using strategy and tactics necessary to minimize impacts to sensitive areas and values at risk while maximizing benefits to natural resources. Beneficial effects include removal of fuels, snags and decadent shrubs and grasses. The fire is burning with a mosaic pattern, with the majority of the area burning at low to moderate intensity.
ADVISORY: Due to a large amount of traffic on the Klondyke and Aravaipa roads; the county will have large equipment working on repairing ruts and washboards. Motorists are advised to drive with caution and be safe.
An Oak Fire information station has been set up at Walmart, 755 S. 20th Avenue in Safford. It will be staffed Wednesday through Friday 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The need for additional staffing at the information station will be assessed this Friday.
- Location: Safford Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest, Safford, Arizona
- Start Date: 6/17/2014
- Size: 13,137 acres
- Cause: lightning
- Objectives: Provide for public, firefighter and aviation safety. Prevent fire from spreading to private lands and protect historic structures. Contain the fire within the National Forest boundary in the Galiuro Mountains. Manage this natural ignition fire to improve wildlife habitat; improve range and watershed conditions; and improve forest health. Minimize fire severity impacts to threatened and endangered species habitat (i.e. Chiricahua leopard frog, Mexican spotted owl). Maintain buffer zones adjacent to Chiricahua leopard frog habitat. Utilize Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics (MIST) when conducting fire management operations in the Wilderness.Work with media to provide the public timely and accurate information.
- Percent Contained: 5%: The fire is being managed for multiple objectives within a defined planning area mostly within the Galiuro Wilderness area. The planning area includes Rattlesnake Canyon on the west and southwest sides, High Creek on the southeast side and the Forest boundary on the east and north sides.
- Resources Assigned: Wildland Fire Module (skilled 8 person hand crew); 3 Hotshot crews; 2 Type 2 hand crews; 5 Engines; 6 Helicopters; air attack platform; single engine air tankers available, used as needed
- Closures: Entering or using the northern portion of the Galiuro Mountains north of Sunset Peak and Kielberg Peak (as described below) is prohibited. The southern line of the closure area begins at the Forest boundary on High Creek Road (FS 159) at T10S, R21E, Sec. 17, SE and following this road to the High Creek Trail and thence west to Sunset Peak. From Sunset Peak continuing west to Kielberg Peak and the Forest boundary at T10S, R19E, Sec. 9, SW. The closed area is all National Forest System lands north of this line. This closure was enacted to allow firefighters unrestrained access and to protect the public.
- Fire Weather: Moisture will continue to increase through Friday, resulting in a chance of mainly afternoon and evening thunderstorms. The increased moisture will also lead to a gradual lowering of daytime temperatures and higher relative humidity. Strong, gusty and erratic winds cam be expected with any thunderstorms.
- Fire Behavior: The increased humidity expected with forecasted thunderstorms is anticipated to diminish fire activity somewhat. Any outflow winds from approaching thunderstorms could cause rapid rates of spread in all directions anywhere that heat and open flame is present. Any new ignition from lightning ot spot fires could see rapid rates of spread as well.