Fire managers for the South Zone of the Kaibab National Forest plan to treat up to 320 acres with prescribed fire tomorrow in the Sunflower Project area on the Williams Ranger District.

Specifically, fire managers plan to ignite the 320 acres in an area just south of Forest Road 139 and east of Hyde Hill about 8 miles southeast of the City of Williams. Ignitions should be complete by early afternoon, and fire managers do not anticipate conducting any other prescribed fires on the Williams Ranger District this week.

The Boundary fire is approximately 7,367 acres and is estimated at 18 percent contained.   Overnight light north winds pushed smoke into some communities around Flagstaff with most of the smoke dispersing before dawn. As Sunday progresses, northeast winds are expected to push smoke toward Williams and Bellemont. Individuals sensitive to smoke may want to stay indoors to avoid smoke impacts. Firefighter, public safety, and ecosystem health remain the top priorities for fire managers while keeping the fire within the planning area.

Jeff Andrews’ Southwest Area Type 2 Incident Management Team has been briefed and taken command of the Boundary Fire as of 6:00 am today. Yesterday, crews successfully held containment lines while the fire slowly progressed to the west while consuming forest litter and heavy dead and down fuel, helping to restore the forest to a more healthy and resilient state.

Firefighters today will begin ignition operations near the top of Kendrick Mountain. The plan is to reduce fuels adjacent to a lookout tower and a cabin that dates to the early 20th century. The action is part of an indirect-attack strategy that provides for firefighter safety and minimizes impacts to resources. Steep slopes with heavy dead and down trees and forest debris make the indirect strategy the most practical. It is also effective in minimizing the impacts to the Kendrick Mountain Wilderness. Firefighter and public safety remain the highest priority.

Increased winds ahead of a cold front caused the Boundary Fire to spread northeast off of Kendrick Mountain towards Highway 180. The fire is still within the planning area for the Boundary Fire and is expected to remain west of Highway 180.  Firefighters are implementing containment plans to slow fire spread. Highway 180 will be closed between mileposts 236 and 248 by 5 p.m.

The lightning caused Boundary Fire continued to be moderately active on Kendrick Mountain yesterday. The total burned area is now estimated at 550 acres and is currently burning on the Flagstaff Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest. Interagency biologists are working alongside suppression personnel in the planning and implementation of protection strategies to minimize any adverse effects to critical species during suppression of the fire.

While the fire activity picked up on the mid-slope of Kendrick Mountain, fire managers spent yesterday preparing firelines for future ignition operations that are designed to provide resource benefits to the forest. The 450-acre Boundary Fire is currently burning on the Flagstaff Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest but is expected to move onto the Kaibab National Forest side of the boundary line within the next several days.


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