Fires Update May 29, 2016: Cowboy, Mormon, and Pivot Rock managed wildfires

Contact(s): Coconino National Forest Supervisor's Office 928-527-3600, Media Contact: Brady Smith 928-527-3490, Media Contact: George Jozens 928-527-3412

Flagstaff, Arizona — Fire managers with the Coconino National Forest continue to utilize three lightning-caused wildfires to reduce forest fuels, while actively protecting values in the area such as archaeological sites and sensitive habitats. 

Information and details about the fires, including their objectives, will be updated on Inciweb. Quick updates will also be provided on @CoconinoNF on Twitter, so please follow us if you would like to be updated as information is received. The public can report smoke impacts online.



  • Start Date: May 17, 2016.
  • Cause: Lightning.
  • Location: Approximately eight miles south of Flagstaff, near milepost 331 on the immediate east side of Interstate 17.
  • Current Size: Approximately 2,139 acres.
  • Resources: 2-Type 3 engines, 2-Type 6 engines, and various firefighter personnel. Total personnel is approximately 15.
  • Smoke: Smoke from this wildfire may impact I-17 near the Kelly Canyon Road and Newman Park exits, but the smoke will be very light due to the low activity of this fire currently.
  • Closures: None currently. Motorists in the area should use caution and slow down while driving on forest roads near the fire, as fire personnel and equipment will be present.
  • Operations Today: Fire behavior is minimal with some creeping and burning of stumps and logs.  Active preparation work along powerlines, roads and containment lines will continue today.  Firing operations are planned again for Tuesday (May 31) along I-17 at Newman Park, but may occur earlier if necessary to protect important values in the area and public safety.  All wildfire management decisions for this fire focus on the importance of protecting the communities of Kachina Village, Mountainaire and Flagstaff from the possibility of severe wildfires.  Arizona Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol officers will be monitoring smoke and traffic along I-17. The posted speed limits may be lowered on the interstate along the fire perimeter for public safety. 



  • Start Date: May 15, 2016.
  • Cause: Lightning.
  • Location: Six miles east of Munds Park near Mormon Mountain.
  • Current Size: Approximately 1,564 acres.
  • Resources: 2-Type 1 crews (Mormon Lake and Flagstaff), 2-Type 2 Incident Attack crews (Bear Jaw and Coconino Fuels), 2-Type 3 engines, 3-Type 6 engines, 1-dozer, and 20 other personnel. Total personnel is approximately 135.
  • Smoke: Smoke may settle in drainages and valleys at night, including Mormon Lake and Munds Park. Smoke was moderate in the Lake Mary and Mormon Lake areas this morning.  Smoke will disperse during the day to the north and northeast.  Winds are expected to be light out of the south this morning and then out of the southwest this afternoon at 10 mph. Smoke impacts along the Lake Mary Road and Mormon Lake recreation corridor will be possible. This includes campgrounds, day-use areas, Walnut Canyon National Monument, and many trails in the area, to include the Arizona Trail. Communities north and northeast of the wildfire, including east Flagstaff, Doney Park and Winona, may experience smoke impacts. 
  • Closures: The closure area for the Mormon Fire is between Mormon Lake and Munds Park, north of the intersections of Forest Roads 700 and 240. To view the Closure Order and map of the fire closure area, visit:  Drivers in the area are strongly advised to use caution as fire fighters are on foot and several vehicles are operating in the burn areas.
  • Operations Today:  Burnout operations occurred northeast of Antelope Park late this morning.
  • Firefighters will continue to prepare strategic containment lines for future burnout operations. The burnout operations will help protect important values on the north and northeast portions of the fire, including the Mormon Mountain communication towers, sensitive wildlife and watersheds in the area. 



  • Start Date: May 19, 2016.
  • Cause: Lightning.
  • Location: About three miles northeast of the junction of State Routes 260 and 87; eight miles northeast of Strawberry.
  • Current Size: Approximately 1,726 acres.
  • Resources: 1-Type 1 crew (Blue Ridge Hotshots), 2-Type 3 engines, 6-Type 6 engines, 1-dozer, 1-Water Tender, and various firefighting individuals, totaling 90 personnel.
  • Smoke: Smoke will be visible from SR 260 and 87 as well as the communities of Payson, Pine, Strawberry, the Verde Valley and Happy Jack. Winds are expected out of the southwest in the morning at 10 to 15 mph and in then out of the south in afternoon at 15 to 25 mph.  At night, light smoke from the Pivot Rock Fire is expected to settle into low areas and nearby canyons, including Toms Creek, Clover Canyon, Pivot Rock Canyon and into West Clear Creek. 
  • Closures: The closure area for this fire is north of the intersections of SR 260 and 87 and can be viewed at Motorists in the area of the fire are encouraged to slow down, as firefighters and equipment will be working in the area.
  • Operations Today: Burnout operations began along Forest Road 142 in Pivot Rock Canyon late this morning.  These firing operations are to protect important sensitive wildlife, culture significant sights and other values which may be at risk.



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