With the Stina fire now at more than 90-percent contained local resources have nearly completed the fire suppression repair work, which is the first of the three-phased approach to aiding in the recovery of an area following a wildfire. Meanwhile, due to the limited access and steep terrain, firefighters continue a confine-contain strategy on the Cat Fire.
With outbreaks of severe wildfires unfolding across the West many firefighting and support resources were stretched thin this fire season, this included support contractors who were spread out in all directions across the country.
Firefighters and fire managers continue working to contain the Stina Fire, burning since July 26, 2018. As fire suppression activities wind down, crews have begun the task of cleaning up after all their hard work. The task of mitigating the impact of the fight to stop the fire is referred to as “suppression repair”.
Local crews have been working diligently on the Stina and Cat Fires as well as responding to Initial Attack on numerous lightning ignitions across the district. In order to take pressure off local resources, Kaibab fire officials have transitioned command of the Stina Fire to the Central West Zone Type Three Incident Management Team as of 6:00 a.m. today. The Stina and the Cat Fires are both under command of the team which will finalize suppression activities, direct mop-up, and initiate suppression repair.
The Stina Fire received additional moisture yesterday that is prompting a change in suppression tactics. Prior to the rain, the suppression tactic was an indirect strategy of using road systems and dozer lines to burn off of to secure containment lines. The strategy was in place as a safer way to control the fire due to the erratic fire behavior, thus not putting fire crews directly adjacent to the fire.
A slight increase in moisture and monsoon activity on the Cat and Stina Fires occurred yesterday and is expected today as well. This is a blessing and a curse for firefighters. Incident Commander Mike Uebel notes that moisture can moderate fire behavior, but strong downdrafts can make for erratic fire behavior and fire movement on areas of the fires not receiving moisture.
As fire behavior progresses, the Cat Fire-Stina Fire Incident Commander Mike Uebel stresses the need for public and firefighter safety.
Fire activity increased yesterday on the North Kaibab Ranger District. Information and details are below.
Cat Fire Overview
Date reported: August 6, 2018
Location: Wildcat Canyon in the vicinity of Saddle Mountain Wilderness.
Fuel: Mixed conifer
Weather: Hot and dry conditions will continue across most of northern Arizona today.
The Obi Fire is approximately 1000 acres. Growth today was primarily in the northern and eastern portions of the fire perimeter. Light southwesterly winds throughout the day allowed fire to grow through pine needles and downed logs. Fire behavior was active with single tree torching and surface fire of one to three foot flames where the fire was consuming dead logs.