Yesterday, firefighters moved west along the W4 road and improved the boundary line with hand ignitions. Crews also created debris piles to clean up vegetation along the forest floor and hazard trees. Fire managers completed a reconnaissance flight to assess fire behavior within the interior of the fire perimeter. Fire effects are consistent with land managers' objectives and are expected to remain as such based on current conditions.
Today firefighters will patrol and hold lines along the northern and eastern boundaries of the fire perimeter. Crews will begin firing operations along Forest Road 223, starting at the edge of the fire perimeter, and move west towards Fire Point. Once line improvements are in place, firefighters will patrol and hold this line. Currently 92 resources are assigned and the Ikes Fire has spread across approximately 4,994 acres.
The fire is gradually spreading west within the identified boundaries of the planning area. As it burns naturally through the area, it can be beneficial to the fire-adapted ecosystem by removing fuels that could feed future forest fires. Fire managers are utilizing the naturally ignited fire within a pre-defined area to achieve positive restorative benefits to the land. Low intensity wildfire can be advantageous by providing an efficient and safe way to remove the dead and decaying plant material under desired conditions that could act as fuel for future forest fires. Future fires occurring under hotter and drier conditions, which typically occur during this time of year with current fuel levels, could create uncharacteristic and undesirable fire effects.
Predicted forecast for today remains hot and dry with zero chance of precipitation. Light, southwest winds will be around 10 mph moving into the afternoon. Unchanging warm temperatures and low relative humidity will allow fire to carry through the available fuels inside the planning area. Weather forecasts indicate the fire will continue to spread west at an easy pace.
Smoke from the Ikes Fire, along with other fires in the area, will be visible throughout the surrounding area. Visitors traveling to the area should be aware of possible smoke impacts along State Highway 67. Visitors are asked to drive carefully and turn headlights on for safety. For local air quality and related information, please visit the following websites: www.airnow.gov
or the Smoke Management Division of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality