Wildfires

Motorists play important roles in preventing roadside fires. 

The Arizona Department of Transportation encourages motorists to plan ahead for travel during the Independence Day holiday, and also reminds the public of the roles motorists play in preventing brush fires and wildfires near roadways.

Multiple times last month, brush fires ignited by vehicles or motorists forced highway closures in Arizona. Travelers can minimize the risk of starting fires along Arizona roads by:

·         Making sure chains are secured and not dragging, emitting sparks.

While the Coconino National Forest received some rain over the weekend, visitors are reminded fire danger levels continue to be elevated and Stage II fire restrictions, as well as the six area closures to protect watersheds and other values at risk, will remain in place until significant and widespread precipitation is received. 

Coconino National Forest emphasizes that northern Arizona is still at the height of its fire season and there is a potential for large, severe wildfires. The forest needs the public’s continued support in preventing unwanted, human-caused wildfires.

Firefighters have stopped forward progress on the Tank Fire at approximately 170 acres in an area about 1-2 miles northeast of the junction of Lake Mary Road and state Route 87 on the Mogollon Rim.

Firefighters responded to five additional wildfires in the area ignited by thunderstorms moving across the Mogollon Rim yesterday afternoon. The Tank Fire was the only fire in the area to show rapid growth. The other fires, ranging in size from a burning tree to 20 acres, are all contained this morning.

Since snow is expected within the next 48 hours, Coconino National Forest fire managers will be assisting Coconino County with a green waste burn at the Willard Springs transfer station tomorrow morning immediately west of Interstate 17 at the Willard Springs exit.

Fire managers will also be burning slash piles over the next several days at different locations throughout the Flagstaff Ranger District, which include:

The State of California is asking for more help from Arizona to assist with the multiple fires burning across the southern part of the state.
 
Today, the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management received an order for an additional 22 engines, for a total of 42 engines and nearly 150 firefighters.
 
Many of the Arizona crews that have already arrived in California were assigned to the Lilac Fire in San Diego County. Those crews are working as strike teams by providing initial attack and being used for structure protection.

The fall season brings many recreationist, hunters, and fall-color enthusiasts to our national forests. The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests reminds visitors to always be careful with fire, especially since we have experienced an unusually dry and warm fall. This week alone there have been numerous abandoned campfires and some have spread to become multiple-acre wildfires.

The Benchmark Fire was reported on Saturday afternoon, October 14, 2017, and is burning on Benchmark Mountain west of Forest Road 37.  Smoke may be visible from I-17 and Black Canyon City.  The fire is burning in a remote area of the forest with limited access, so it is being monitored from the air.  The fire size has not changed in the last 24 hours, and growth to the south has stopped because the fire burned into the Bull Fire scar from earlier this summer.

Location:

Earlier this month, North Zone Fire managers announced big picture plans for the 2017-2018 prescribed fire season across the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest and the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

As conditions fell within prescriptive parameters over the past ten days, that focus has narrowed, and firefighters are ready to begin hazardous fuels reduction treatments within the Tipover East prescribed fire (Tipover Rx) unit as early as Tuesday.

Location:

  • Black Mesa Ranger District of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests
  • Coconino County, Arizona
  • Northwest of Forest Lakes in Leonard Canyon

Start Date:  October 6, 2017                                                            

Size:  Approximately 1,500 acres

Percent contained:  0%                                                       

Cause:  Lightning

Personnel Assigned: 100

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