Coconino National Forest

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.

The Platypus/Rhino Fire received moisture throughout the day yesterday, and fire behavior greatly diminished. 

With warm dry weather ahead, some potential for fire activity remains, especially near the southern edge of the original Rhino Fire where fingers of vegetation run through steep, rugged canyons.

Significant growth is not anticipated, but firefighters will continue to closely monitor the area.  If activity increases, some smoke would likely be noticeable from the Flagstaff and Sedona areas.

Containment lines have successfully prevented the Platypus/Rhino Fire from moving forward to the north and east.  Crews will to continue patrolling and mopping up these areas.

Significant growth to the south is not anticipated, but there is still potential for fire to move along the southern edge of the original Rhino Fire through fingers of vegetation in steep, rugged canyons. Firefighters will be closely monitoring the area and may utilize helicopters to assist with suppression efforts should the need arise.     

*The Coconino National Forest and firefighters on the Platypus Fire were saddened to learn of the ATV accident on the Mogollon Rim this weekend that resulted in the loss of four lives.  Public information regarding the accident and the September Fire, burning on the Tonto and Coconino National Forests, is being handled through the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and the Tonto National Forest.  We extend our deepest condolences to the victims’ families and loved ones, and are holding them in our hearts and prayers.*

The Platypus and Rhino wildfires have experienced an increase in fire activity with the weather drying out and hotter temperatures returning in northern Arizona’s Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness. 

The two fires are burning in hazardous and rugged terrain in the wilderness north of Sedona and are predicted to merge this week.

Fire managers will conduct burnout operations to minimize fire progression to the north and also prevent fire spread to the east into Bear Sign Canyon.

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