Air Quality

The fires being managed for resource benefit on the Kaibab National Forest and the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park increased in activity yesterday due to drier conditions. Fire managers are hopeful that the drier weather pattern will allow the fires to continue growing and achieving resource objectives such as improving forest health and reducing the likelihood of future high-severity fires.

With the return of monsoonal precipitation to all fires, growth and activity have slowed. Crews continue to monitor the fires and do preparation work ahead of drier conditions forecasted to return mid-week. Smoke will be much lighter today and tonight. Fire managers continue to coordinate with neighboring forests, national parks, municipal fire departments, and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to monitor smoke impacts.

Growth continued yesterday on all fires being managed for resource benefits with multiple objectives. Today crews continue to do preparation work ahead of managed ignitions and ignitions may occur on some fires. Fire managers continue to coordinate with neighboring forests, national parks, municipal fire departments, and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to monitor smoke impacts. For more information on smoke and air quality please visit www.azdeq.gov or www.wildlandfire.az.gov.

Yesterday, monsoonal winds pushed smoke into the Flagstaff, Sedona, and Verde Valley areas from the Sitgreaves Complex on the Kaibab National Forest near Parks, Ariz. With variable winds in the forecast, smoke is likely to drift toward these areas again for the next several days. Fire managers continue to coordinate with neighboring forests, national parks, municipal fire departments, and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to monitor smoke impacts.

Today crews will continue active managed ignitions on all three fires across the forest. These ignitions are to strengthen existing road perimeters and keep fire progressing within the planning areas. Crews on all fires are reporting good consumption of fuels, protection of archeological sites, and wildlife habitat benefits. Additionally, these fires help make local communities more resilient by reducing the threat of future high intensity wildfires.

Williams Ranger District:

The Coconino County Sheriff's Office, in coordination with area federal and local agencies, will lift the mandatory evacuation order for residents evacuated north of Slide Rock State Park at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 28.

Oak Creek Canyon residents and businesses along US 89A north of Slide Rock State Park were placed under mandatory evacuation after the Slide Fire began May 20. The lifting of the evacuation order was announced during a community meeting Wednesday evening at Red Rocks High School in Sedona.

Air quality officials have updated the daily air quality report for the communities impacted by the Slide Fire

Weather observations around Sedona indicated that downslope winds were strong and persistent overnight Thursday into Friday morning, limiting smoke concentrations. These winds moved smoke away from the Flagstaff area into the upper Verde Valley and even briefly into Camp Verde.

Heavy smoke from the Slide Fire continues to cause air quality issues for residents and visitors in the Sedona area. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and local officials are monitoring conditions, and communities will be alerted as needed.

ADEQ air monitors indicate that air quality in Sedona and immediately surrounding areas has ranged between "unhealthy for selective groups" and "hazardous." Conditions may cause respiratory issues for some area residents and visitors.

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