Boundary Fire

Name: Boundary Fire

Reported: June 1, 2017

Cause: Lightning

Containment: 80%

After heavy smoke in Flagstaff on Friday, the area got

Size: 14,854 acres Resources: 332 personnel Containment increases, Flagstaff gets a break from heavy smoke

a reprieve early today. The air this morning was cleaner than expected in the most-populated areas of the region.

The  Boundary Fire is approximately 30 percent contained and is estimated at 8,622 acres.  Monday afternoon, forecasted isolated thunderstorms brought gusty winds and light precipitation to the Boundary Fire. Crews made a big stride today securing private property parcels and fire lines which increased containment from 18 percent to 30 percent. Cloud cover and increased relative humidity allowed fire to move along the ground, promoting healthy consumption of dead and down fuel returning nutrients to the soil.

The Boundary fire is approximately 7,367 acres and is estimated at 18 percent contained.   Overnight light north winds pushed smoke into some communities around Flagstaff with most of the smoke dispersing before dawn. As Sunday progresses, northeast winds are expected to push smoke toward Williams and Bellemont. Individuals sensitive to smoke may want to stay indoors to avoid smoke impacts. Firefighter, public safety, and ecosystem health remain the top priorities for fire managers while keeping the fire within the planning area.

 Warmer and dryer weather conditions are expected over the weekend which could slow progress on the Boundary Fire, as fire crews work slowly and methodically to back the fire down the mountain. This will allow for better control reducing the chances of the fire front pushing uphill and creating intense heat which would adversely affect the tree canopy. It is important that fire crews continue with ignitions during dry weather as it allows for consumption of the decadent fuels on the ground, decreasing the heavy accumulation of fuels on the mountain.

Jeff Andrews’ Southwest Area Type 2 Incident Management Team has been briefed and taken command of the Boundary Fire as of 6:00 am today. Yesterday, crews successfully held containment lines while the fire slowly progressed to the west while consuming forest litter and heavy dead and down fuel, helping to restore the forest to a more healthy and resilient state.

A community meeting focusing on smoke will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, at the Summit Fire and Medical Station, 6050 E. Firehouse Lane, Flagstaff.
 
Helicopter aerial ignition operations continue today near the Kendrick Mountain peak. The operations, in which incendiary devices are dropped from a helicopter to reduce dead and down fuels, began near the peak on Tuesday. The plan is to continue to use aerial ignition to bring fire slowly down the mountain. The tactics benefit the ecological conditions in the Kendrick Mountain Wilderness while minimizing impacts.
Firefighters today will begin ignition operations near the top of Kendrick Mountain. The plan is to reduce fuels adjacent to a lookout tower and a cabin that dates to the early 20th century. The action is part of an indirect-attack strategy that provides for firefighter safety and minimizes impacts to resources. Steep slopes with heavy dead and down trees and forest debris make the indirect strategy the most practical. It is also effective in minimizing the impacts to the Kendrick Mountain Wilderness. Firefighter and public safety remain the highest priority.
 
Predicted calmer winds on Tuesday may allow fire personnel to reassess operational tactics. In order to mitigate negative impacts on resources in the Kendrick Mountain Wilderness, fire managers plan to use aerial ignitions to introduce fire on the peaks. Flames burning uphill preheat fuels, creating a hotter burn which can harm the natural ecosystem. In contrast, flames backing down a slope burn at a much lower severity. Firefighters will introduce a lower-intensity backing fire.

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