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.
Storms brought rain and increased humidity this week on the Pinchot Fire, making conditions unfavorable for continuing perimeter burn operations. As the storms pass and conditions dry through the weekend, burn operations are expected to resume Monday, October 3, 2016.
On Monday (September 26), the incoming storms shifted the prevailing winds from the typical southwest pattern to northeast. This dispersed smoke from Monday's burn operations towards the towns of Pine and Strawberry.
Pinchot Fire crews did a test burn on Sunday and determined that sufficient drying had occurred thus allowing for a successful ignition planned for Monday. Fire was kept on the west side of Forest Road 139A consuming heavy dead and down fuels. The fire began to creep into Bear Canyon with no holding concerns.
With the warm weather experienced this past weekend, the Pinchot Fire grew to 45 acres. It has moved into the Bear Canyon area, to secure holding features, today crews are doing preparation work along Forest Roads 95 and 139A.
Smoke has been noticed within the Blue Ridge communities. Some of the smoke is from the Pinchot Fire, but most of the smoke is from the prescribed burn that the Tonto National Forest is doing along Highway 260, east of Payson.
Fire managers with the Coconino National Forest are utilizing a lightning-caused fire in the Dick Hart Ridge area southeast of Clints Well to benefit the landscape and maintain a healthy ecosystem by allowing fire to fulfill its natural role in the environment. The forest thrives on fires such as these that are low severity and creep across the forest floor.
Fire managers with the Coconino National Forest are utilizing a lightning-caused fire in the Crackerbox Canyon and Battleground Ridge area southeast of Clints Well to benefit the landscape and maintain a healthy ecosystem by allowing fire to fulfill its natural role in the environment. The forest thrives on fires such as these that are low severity and creep across the forest floor. They reduce fuels and the risk of severe wildfire, create safer conditions for residents, the public and firefighters, and also restore wildlife habitat by stimulating understory vegetation growth.