Coconino National Forest firefighters plan to conduct prescribed burns next week in areas that will lessen smoke impacts to surrounding communities.
These burns are among the prescribed burn projects planned for the Flagstaff Ranger District and the Mogollon Rim Ranger District this fall and are part of a strategy to allow fire across the landscape in order to restore forests to healthier conditions, protect watersheds and improve the safety of the communities around them.
Fire activity and growth stalled yesterday as predicted thundershowers materialized over the fire area. However, the rainfall was insufficient in reducing the fire’s potential as only 1⁄4” of precipitation fell over the fire. Fire crews continued scouting for placement of containment lines and safe access routes. Rugged terrain and inclement weather challenged fire crews on the ground.
The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests’ Lakeside Ranger District will be burning slash piles October 7 through October 11 if conditions allow. The ignition areas are on the Billy Timber Sale, Unit 9, just North of Stone Pine Estates along Buck Springs Road and Fleming/Mortimer Commercial Fuelwood Sales located on Porter Mountain Rd and Forest Service Road 283. Scattered piles will be burned across roughly 38 acres of forest land.
Fire managers on the Bradshaw Ranger District plan to take advantage of favorable weather conditions and have planned several fuel treatments October 4th through October 30th. All burning will be dependent on current and expected weather conditions. Fire managers will utilize tactics to keep smoke impacts as minimal as possible. These may include canceling approved burns when conditions aren’t favorable, timing daytime ignitions to allow the majority of smoke to disperse prior to settling overnight, and burning larger sections at a time when conditions are favorable
After two days of strong winds over the wildfire, minimal growth occurred in critical areas of the Ikes Fire on the Kaibab Plateau. The wildfire remained at a little more than 11,000 acres in size despite the high wind event.
Last week, two helicopters were used over portions of the fire below the canyon rim in Quaking Aspen Canyon to reduce the threat to unburned areas on Kaibab National Forest lands northeast of Fire Point. While the helicopter water drops did not entirely extinguish the wildfire, they did moderate fire behavior during the critical wind event.
The Prescott National Forest assumed command of the Johnson Fire this morning at 6 AM. Southwest Area Type 2 Incident Management Team 3 were highly successful in managing the fire and produced a solid plan for the forest; for any future wildfires that may occur in the area. Mario Orozco is the Type 4 Incident Commander for the Johnson Fire.
The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Gila District announced today that the Aravaipa Veterans Fire Crew has achieved certification as an Interagency Hotshot Crew (IHC). Of the 13 BLM IHCs nationwide, the Aravaipa Veterans Interagency Hotshot Crew is the only BLM-funded hotshot crew in Arizona, and only one of two BLM IHCs in the nation focused on recruiting and developing veterans.