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Friday, August 5, 2011

WILDFIRE UPDATE FOR THIS WEEKEND

U.S. Forest Service
Coconino National Forest                                                
www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino                                
www.twitter.com/CoconinoNF
www.flickr.com/photos/coconinonationalforest

Scout Fire as seen from Blue Ridge 8-6-11
August 5, 2011


Coconino NF Wildfire Activity Update


Flagstaff, AZ Several low-intensity, lightning-caused wildfires on the Coconino National Forest are being managed for natural resource objectives. These objectives allow fire to play its natural role as custodian of the forest, reducing accumulated fuel and recycling nutrients. With warmer and drier weather forecast through this weekend, fire activity and smoke will increase. Although there are no formal closures, forest visitors will see signs for fire activity in the immediate area of these fires.

Rocky Fire
Crews are creating control lines around the Rocky Fire, in preparation of ignition this weekend to “box-in” the fire. The fire size could increase by several hundred acres. Ignition will occur early in the morning to maximize smoke dispersal, and smoke will be visible from I-17, Forest Highway 3, and the Verde Valley. This fire is being managed by the Red Rock Ranger District.
Rocky Fire Facts
Behavior: Low to moderate smoldering and creeping. The fire is staying in the ponderosa pine understory.
Start Date: July 18, 2011
Location: 2 miles south of Stoneman Lake, near Rocky Gulch.
Size: 140 acres. Anticipate growth to several thousand acres.

Sandrock and Zeus Fires
These two wildfires are within the same area and are being managed together on the Mogollon Rim Ranger District. Fire crews are planning ignitions with drip torches along the control lines to “box in” the fire boundaries. Smoke may increase along the highways and drain into Calf Pen Canyon and Fossil Creek overnight. Drivers on Highways 87 and 260 will see electronic signs alerting them for smoke.
Sandrock and Zeus Fire Facts
Behavior: Light. The fire is staying in the ponderosa pine understory.  
Start Date: July 21 and 28, 2011
Location: off Highway 260, near Twenty-Nine Mile Lake
Size: Sandrock 300 acres, Zeus 9 acres. Anticipate growth to several thousand acres.

Scout Fire
Fire crews are preparing for additional ignitions along control lines, similar to strategy on Sandrock and Rocky Fires. Planned ignitions will produce smoke which will be visible from Payson and Blue Ridge area community. Managed by Mogollon Rim Ranger District.
Scout Fire Facts
Behavior: Low to moderate, burning in the ponderosa pine understory.  
Start Date: July 21, 2011
Location: 6 miles south of Clints Well, near Forest Road 141H and Forest Road 320
Size: 175 acres; could grow to 2000 acres.

Bolt Fire
The Bolt Fire received significant precipitation and is inactive. Crews continue to monitor.
Bolt Fire Facts
Behavior: Little activity.
Start Date: July 11, 2011
Location: Approximately 6 miles northeast of Munds Park, off Forest Road 132A
Size: 1,780 acres; no further growth anticipated.

Fire managers recognize the need to minimize smoke impacts to the communities as much as possible and use several tactics to do so while managing these wildfires including slowing fire growth and intensity when ventilation conditions aren’t as favorable, and conducting firing operations earlier in the day to allow the majority of smoke to disperse before nightfall.

To learn more about fire and smoke activity on the Coconino National Forest, visit www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino, follow our tweets at http://twitter.com/#!/CoconinoNF
or contact your local ranger station:
Mogollon Rim Ranger Station (Blue Ridge): 928-477-2255  
Red Rock Ranger Station (Sedona): 928-203-7500 (open on weekends.)
Flagstaff Ranger Station: 928-526-0866.

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Karen Malis-Clark
Public Affairs, Conservation Education
Coconino National Forest
1824 S. Thompson St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001-2529
Phone  928-527-3492  Fax 928-527-3620
email    kmclark@fs.fed.us

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