-A news release for the Ikes Fire will be issued every other day starting today, Wednesday August 21, 2019. Additional information will be released as it becomes available or conditions change. Contact information for the Ikes Fire will remain in place at this time.
Yesterday, firefighters did minimal hand ignitions along the National Park Service W4 Road as the fire progressed slowly to the west. Crews did not conduct firing operations along Forest Road 223 as more prep work is needed before putting additional fire on the ground. A helicopter was utilized for reconnaissance flights during the day to assess fire behavior within the interior of the fire perimeter. Fire is currently backing down ridges and spreading within drainages at a low to moderate rate of spread.
Today, firefighters will prep Forest Road 223 in anticipation of firing operations along the road to reduce vegetation and create a buffer for the advancing fire. Firing operations will occur once prep work is complete and weather conditions are appropriate. Crews will patrol and hold the fire planning area perimeter and make improvements as needed. As the fire moves west, crews will conduct hand ignitions along the National Park Service W4 Road to strengthen the southern boundary of the fire planning area. As objectives continue to be met, resources will be released from the Ikes Fire and made available to assist on other wildfires. There are currently 93 resources assigned to the Ikes Fire and it has spread across approximately 5,112 acres.
A strong, healthy forest ecosystem is born of fire. The forest floor becomes sanitized as dead, downed material burns and nutrients are returned to the soil. These nutrients help vegetation grow in a stronger, more resilient ecosystem. Utilizing the lightning-caused fire for resource benefit will improve wildlife habitat and restore more open forest understory with grasses and forbs. The fire will be allowed to fulfill its natural role while providing for point protection of cultural and natural resources. The Ikes Fire poses no danger to structures or local infrastructure.
Predicted forecast for the next two days is very warm temperatures between 80-90 degrees. The weather will be generally dry and breezy as a weather trough moves into the area starting Thursday. Winds out of the southwest are expected to be 10-15 mph with no rain in sight.
Smoke from the Ikes Fire, along with other fires in the area, will be visible throughout the area and may cause smoke impacts. Visitors traveling to the area should be aware of possible smoke 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.