McRae Fire

The lightning-caused Sitgreaves and Hammer fires that are being managed to improve forest health on the Kaibab National Forest continued growing rapidly yesterday as lower relative humidity levels and warmer temperatures dominated weather conditions.

Yesterday’s fire activity on the Sitgreaves Complex created smoke that, when combined with cool overnight temperatures, settled into low-lying areas along Interstate 40 between Williams and Flagstaff. However, that smoke is quickly dissipating as temperatures increase this morning.

The two fires being managed to achieve resource objectives southeast of Tusayan, Ariz., received rain yesterday slowing their growth temporarily.

The 5,071-acre McRae Fire didn’t expand yesterday but continued creeping and smoldering within the fire area. Fire managers are hopeful that drier conditions this week will allow the McRae Fire to continue to grow and benefit the forest by reducing hazardous fuels and improving wildlife habitat.

The two fires being managed to achieve resource objectives near Tusayan, Ariz., remain active while the other managed fires on the Kaibab National Forest and the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park have slowed substantially or petered out due to rain. Much of northern Arizona has received substantial precipitation over the last few days, putting a damper on the naturally-ignited fires that were being managed to improve forest health and reduce the likelihood of future high-severity fires.

The fires being managed for resource benefit on the Kaibab National Forest and the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park are growing slowly but steadily as weather conditions vary on a daily basis. Yesterday, the fires received varying amounts of precipitation, from a heavy downpour on the Sitgreaves Complex to more light and scattered rainfall on the fires further north.

The fires being managed for resource benefit on the Kaibab National Forest and the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park increased in activity yesterday due to drier conditions. Fire managers are hopeful that the drier weather pattern will allow the fires to continue growing and achieving resource objectives such as improving forest health and reducing the likelihood of future high-severity fires.

Widespread rain has temporarily stalled the growth of the four lightning-caused fires that are being managed to improve forest health on the Kaibab National Forest and on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park.

Fire managers expect that the four fires, which have been burning since earlier this month, will continue growing and benefiting the ecosystem as drier conditions return to northern Arizona over the next few days.

With the return of monsoonal precipitation to all fires, growth and activity have slowed. Crews continue to monitor the fires and complete preparation work ahead of drier conditions forecasted to return mid-week.

Smoke will be much lighter today and tonight. Fire managers continue to coordinate with neighboring forests, national parks, municipal fire departments, and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to monitor smoke impacts.

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