Coconino National Forest

Coconino National Forest leadership has issued a temporary closure order for public safety for the Coldwater Fire area where interior pockets of unburned fuel will continue to have fire activity.

The temporary closure could be rescinded before the Sept. 1 expiration date if conditions warrant it. The closure was issued to ensure visitors to the forest are kept out of harm’s way as pockets of unburned forest fuels are scattered throughout the interior of the fire's perimeter.

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.
 

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 have completed all burnout operations on the 8,605-acre Maroon Fire, and a reduced number of resources will remain on scene to patrol and monitor the perimeter.
 
Containment will continue to increase over the next few weeks as firefighters identify and extinguish sources of heat along containment lines. Crews will continue with the removal of hazardous trees along travel corridors for public and firefighter safety.
 
Coconino National Forest firefighters plan to conduct a prescribed burn on Thursday (June 6) several miles southeast of Flagstaff, which will produce noticeable smoke in the area between Lake Mary Road and Interstate 40.
 
The Southside project has been postponed several times this year due to unfavorable weather conditions, but the forecast for Thursday is predicted to be ideal for this complex and important project near the Pine Canyon and Continental Country Club communities. Firing ignitions will begin at approximately 9 a.m.
 

Fire managers plan to utilize an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to monitor, gather intelligence, and conduct burnout operations on the Maroon Fire in areas which are inaccessible or too hazardous for firefighters.

The Forest Service has experimented with UAS on incidents in the past, but the Maroon Fire incident management team will be the first to officially order and operate this specialized equipment on an active incident to meet operational objectives. 

Firefighting crews are planning to conduct burnout operations this evening as warmer, drier temperatures and lighter winds are forecast for the upcoming week.

Crews will begin conducting hand ignitions along Forest Service roads, which will allow firefighters to strengthen control lines and promote a low-intensity backing fire. Firing operations may continue throughout the week as weather conditions allow.

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