Firefighters were able to successfully complete tactical firing operations yesterday around infrastructure which include powerlines that are in the fire area.
Operations: Fire managers plan to take advantage of favorable conditions and reintroduce fire at low to moderate intensities minimizing impacts to wildlife, culturally sensitive areas, critical infrastructure, and community watersheds. Tactical firing operations include ground resources conducting hand firing operations along Forest Road 512 to the east and Forest Road 291 along the north perimeter. These roads will be used as containment features keeping the fire from extending to the north and east.
Fire Ecology: The work on the Valentine is the first step in returning fire to a fire-dependent ecosystem. Fire has been absent in this area for well over 50 years. During that time, litter, duff, and woody debris has accumulated to unnaturally high levels. The excessive fuel could support severe fire effects and extreme fire behavior if it burned during the peak fire year before monsoons. The moisture from the last few weeks, combined with carefully chosen ignition patterns and patience, is allowing the Valentine Fire to burn with the desirable fire behavior. Learn more: https://www.fs.usda.gov/managing-land/wildfire-crisis.
Weather: Dry conditions will persist through the weekend. Temperatures will gradually warm to above normal levels into the mid to upper 80s with relative humidity dropping below 20% each afternoon. A consistent southwest daytime wind will shift more westward later this week. Cloud cover increases over the weekend with slight chances of rain showers returning early next week.
Closures: An emergency closure order for the Valentine Fire went into effect 6 a.m. Sept. 5, 2023. The public is asked to avoid the fire area. The purpose of the closure order is to protect public health and safety during the Valentine Fire, and to protect assigned firefighting personnel engaging in wildland firefighting operations. Signs and gates will be in place to remind the public not to enter the fire area. Please visit the Alerts and Notices page for more information: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/tonto/alerts-notices.
Safety: The health and safety of firefighters, and the public are always the highest priority. Members of the public are asked to avoid the fire area.
Smoke: The fire will produce considerable amount of smoke due excessive fuel accumulation. Smoke from the Valentine Fire may be visible in the surrounding areas for many days. Smoke will be heavier in the mornings as it settles into the lower elevations and will lift as temperatures increase. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures An interactive smoke map at https://fire.airnow.gov/ allows you to zoom into your area to see the latest smoke conditions.
- Size: 303 acres
- Start Date: August 16, 2023
- Cause: Lightning
- Completion: 30%
- Total personnel: 130
- Location: 11 miles northeast of Young, Arizona and 27 miles east of Payson, Arizona
- Fuels: Ponderosa Pine, Hardwood litter and timber
Information Links and Contacts:
Tonto National Forest: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/tonto/fire
Fire Email: [email protected]
Fire Information Line (928) 362-0101
Office Hours: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM