The Forest Service is announcing the preliminary results of the investigation regarding the cause of the Museum Fire, a wildfire which began July 21 and burned 1,961 acres on the Coconino National Forest above Flagstaff.
Beginning Wednesday, firefighters plan to conduct burnout operations on the fire management boundary of the Whiskey Fire along Forest Road 231 to protect areas and ensure the active wildfire stays in its containment area.
The fire is burning approximately 8 miles west of Turkey Butte Lookout within the footprint of the 2014 Slide Fire in approximately 140 acres.
Wildland firefighters are managing the Whiskey Fire, a lightning-started fire reported on Sept. 2, burning on approximately 105 acres in Ponderosa pine about 15 miles southwest of Flagstaff within the footprint of the 2014 Slide Fire.
Fire managers are strategic when making decisions about how to manage a wildfire for restoration purposes.
The 1-acre Mulch Fire continues to burn and produce smoke due to deep internal smoldering within massive mulch piles, and wildland firefighters continue to monitor it within Yavapai County’s Camp Verde Transfer Station.
The fire, which was sparked by spontaneous combustion on July 10, will likely continue to burn and smolder for many weeks or even months since the piles are so large, and being able to locate every heat source to extinguish it is near impossible and extremely dangerous for firefighters.
Firefighters have completed crucial burnout operations on the 3,279-acre Saber Fire, and have established defensible space around Turkey Butte Lookout and Arizona Public Service (APS) high voltage powerlines.
The burnouts will protect these important structures from severe wildfires in the future, as well as establish control lines around the predetermined fire perimeter.
Firefighters conducted burnout operations associated with the Saber Fire on Thursday to remove fuel near the Arizona Public Service (APS) high-voltage electrical power lines in the area and expect to conduct more ignitions to protect values at risk over the weekend.
The current hot and dry weather that Northern Arizona is experiencing, coupled with the below average monsoonal moisture, is causing some areas of the Museum Fire to show increased fire activity and smoke.
The Saber Fire produced minimal smoke Tuesday as it grew to 75 acres while it continued to move slowly across the landscape within the 2009 Taylor Fire burn scar.
Fire managers are pleased with the observed fire effects. The Saber Fire is consuming and eliminating hazardous dead and down forest fuels left behind from the Taylor Fire. Hazardous fuels include snags, fallen trees and thick brush. Reduction of these excess fuels will reduce to the likelihood of severe wildfires moving through the area in the future.