Coconino National Forest firefighters plan to conduct pile burns starting today in several areas taking advantage of today's wind changes to prevent smoke impacts on our communities.
These burns are part of the thinning projects planned on the Flagstaff Ranger District, Mogollon Rim Ranger District and the Red Rock Ranger District this fall and are part of a strategy to allow fire treatment to protect watersheds and improve the safety of the communities around them.
With the weather staying temperate and dry, Coconino National Forest firefighters are planning to conduct prescribed burns next week near the Fort Valley area and Clints Well area if weather conditions and staffing remain favorable.
The air attack coordinator flying on the Coldwater Fire Saturday spotted a drone within the Temporary Flight Restriction area and grounded the helicopter assigned to the fire until it was safe to resume any needed flying operations.
There is a TFR over the fire area, and it is illegal to operate a private drone near any wildfire. Saturday, the air attack, fixed-wing pilot, reported a private drone within the TFR. Drones near wildfires create a serious safety hazard for fire aircraft and result in aircraft being grounded immediately.
Travelers should prepare for and expect long delays and intermittent closures along state Route 87 from June 10-12 due the Coldwater Fire.
Firefighters working on the fire are planning to introduce low-intensity fire to areas adjacent to Route 87 between Route 260 and Lake Mary Road, beginning Monday. There will be intermittent highway closures to help ensure firefighter and public safety, so motorists should expect long delays.
The Coldwater Fire, approximately 4 miles south of Clints Well, was slowed yesterday by rain and thunderstorms which rolled through the Mogollon Rim area and are in the forecast for today.
Growth from yesterday’s burnout operations was minimal, with 50 acres being burned. This brings the total fire acres up to just under 2,300 acres.
Fire crews will continue to secure the fire area and conduct hazardous tree removal along sections of state Route 87. Arizona Department of Transportation is on scene to manage traffic, as needed, for cutting operations along Route 87.
Fire managers will be conducting slash pile burns Thursday (Nov. 29) and Friday (Nov. 30) near Clints Well and Flagstaff.
Mogollon Rim Ranger District firefighters are planning to burn slash piles both Thursday and Friday near the intersection of state Routes 87 and 260 southwest of Clints Well. Smoke may be noticeable from these machine piles as wind speed decreases. Smoke will settle during evening hours in the West Clear Creek Wilderness and impact low lying areas near the burn site.
Fire managers will be conducting slash pile burns Wednesday, and continue Thursday if needed, near Flagstaff, Mountainaire, west Sedona and southwest of Clints Well.
Smoke from piles near Mount Eldon Road is expected to disperse toward the west and may be visible to north Flagstaff residents and motorists using Interstate 17 near Mountainaire. Smoke form the piles in west Sedona and near U.S. Highway 260, southwest of Clints Well, are small and should be unnoticeable. Smoke may settle during evening hours and impact low lying areas near the burn sites.