July 15, 2019 - 11:49 am
A Type 3 Incident Management Team assumed command of the Newman Fire over the weekend and will allow the fire to fulfill its natural role in the ecosystem and consume excess forest fuels within a predetermined planning area.
Today firefighters are working to prepare control lines for burnout operations, which are anticipated to begin Tuesday (July 16) evening. Fire mangers plan to continue burnout operations throughout the week as weather conditions allow.
Heavy smoke impacts can be expected over the next week as the fire naturally moves across the landscape and as firefighters introduce low-intensity ignitions to secure the fire perimeter.Fire managers intend to complete firing operations as quickly as possible to reduce the duration of smoke impacts.
The fire is burning in a ponderosa pine vegetation type, which is a fire-adapted ecosystem. Allowing fire to naturally move across the landscape will replenish nutrients in the soil and consume dense fuels on the forest floor. This will provide a more defensible space reducing the risk of future catastrophic wildfires to homes, private property and recreation sites along the Lake Mary Corridor. After fire moves through the area, new grasses, forbs, plants and trees replenish and grow stronger while old growth stands rejuvenate and become more resilient.
The public should use caution when recreating or driving in the Lake Mary corridor as smoke may impair visibility, and firefighters will be working nearby. The immediate fire area is closed for public health and safety. A larger area closure is expected mid-week due to aerial ignition operations and Lake Mary Road may be closed as needed for smoke impacts. A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over the fire area.
Updates about the Newman Fire can be found on Inciweb. Additionally, follow the Coconino National Forest’s Twitter and Facebook sites to get timely updates on this fire, other incidents, and forest-wide activities.