Fires Update June 3 , 2016: Mormon, Pivot Rock, and Jack managed wildfires

Contact(s): Coconino National Forest Supervisor's Office 928-527-3600, Mormon Fire & Smoke Information Contact: 928-220-5560


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

The current weather system has winds from a more northerly direction than usual. This change in wind is driving smoke to the lower areas in Northern Arizona. As the high pressure system increases, it is forecasted the predominant winds will return this weekend pushing the smoke predominantly southeast and northeast. Smoke was heavy in Munds Park and Sedona again this morning. Air quality can be monitored on the Particulate Monitors web provided by ADEQ.

Information and details about the wildfires, including their specific 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.

 

MORMON FIRE OVERVIEW

Start Date: May 15, 2016.

Cause: Lightning.

Location: Six miles east of Munds Park near Mormon Mountain.

Current Size: Approximately 7,847 acres.

Resources: 1-Type 3 Helicopter, 2-Type 1 crews (Plumas and Sacramento), 1-Type 2 crew (Coconino Fuels), 1-Type 3 engine, 3-Type 6 engines, 1-dozer, 1-water tender, and 35 other personnel. Total personnel is approximately 128.

Smoke: Ignition today will be limited to 100 acres. Smoke may settle in drainages and valleys at night, including Mormon Lake, Munds Park and Sedona. Smoke will disperse during the day to the south directly on the fire and then winds aloft will continue to move the smoke south today at 5 – 15 mph. Smoke impacts along the Lake Mary Road and Mormon Lake recreation corridor will be possible. This week the wind shift from the north reversed the smoke direction, which continues to impact Munds Park and Sedona. A high pressure system is expected to return and change the winds from the west and south early next week.

Closures: The closure area for the Mormon Fire is between Mormon Lake and Munds Park, and was expanded today to include the Forest Roads 700 and FR 133A roads to the southwest, it now extends all the way to the entire western edge of Munds Park. View Forest Order 04-16-08-F Mormon Fire Closure for details and map. Drivers in the area are strongly advised to use caution as fire fighters are on foot and several vehicles are operating in the burn area. 

Recent & Current Operations: Ignitions today will be limited to 100 acres with no additional ignitions anticipated.

Crews will work toward full containment expected by June 8. According to Incident Commander True Brown, “As we considered future fire operations, we recognized that smoke impacts were outweighing forest resource benefits of the fire.”

Helicopter and hand operations were used to strengthen the fire lines along the 133A, 700, and 240 roads yesterday. Greater firefighter and support personnel activity will occur on the 133A, 240 and 700 roads and in forests directly east of Munds Park over the next few days in the Casner Park, Horse Park, Little Horse Park, and Bert Lee Park areas. Hazard trees will be removed along roads and trails. Crews continue to work directly east of Munds Park to improve contingency lines and monitor the fire. With better ventilation and winds forecasted, much smaller growth and less smoke impacts are expected on the fire today compared to the last two days. The burnout operations help protect important values on the west, north and northeast portions of the fire, including the community of Munds Park, the Mormon Mountain communication towers, sensitive wildlife and watersheds in the area.

 

JACK FIRE OVERVIEW

Start Date: May 29, 2016

Cause: Lightning.

Location: About 14 miles north of Clints Well on the east side of Lake Mary Road, along Forest Roads 294 and 294C. 

Current Size: Approximately 1,645 acres.

Resources: 2-Type 2 Crews (Coconino Fuels), 1-Type 3 engine, 5-Type 6 engines, 1-Dozer, and various firefighting individuals, totaling 90 personnel.

Smoke: Smoke will be visible from Lake Mary Road as well as the communities of Clints Well, Happy Jack, Payson, Pine, Strawberry and the Verde Valley. Smoke will disperse during the day to the south directly on the fire at 10 – 15 mph and then winds aloft will continue to move the smoke south today at 10 – 20 mph. At night, light smoke from the fire is expected to settle into low areas and nearby canyons, Blue Ridge neighborhoods and the Clear Creek communities. 

Closures: The area east of Happy Jack on the east side of Lake Mary Road (FH 3) and south of Hutch Mountain is closed. The entire Happy Jack Passage of the Arizona National Scenic Trail (AZT-29) is closed as part of the Jack Fire area closure. View Forest Order 04-16-09-F Jack Fire Closure for details and map. Visit Arizona Trail Happy Jack Passage (AZT-29) to download detour maps, mileage charts, and additional information.

Recent & Current Operations: Burnout operations and other suppression tactics were successfully used to protect WAPA powerlines yesterday. Crews will continue to prepare roads and the powerline today as well as burnout as conditions allow east of Mule Park. Additional resources will be transferred from the Pivot Rock Fire to support this fire as activity on the Pivot Rock fire wanes and this fire increases in size. These firing operations are to protect important sensitive wildlife, culture significant sights and other values which may be at risk such as the powerlines, surrounding communities and private property in the area.

 

PIVOT ROCK FIRE OVERVIEW

This will be the last update for the Pivot Rock Fire, as fire managers have determined that the fire is not likely to grow in the containment area. Small pockets of fuels will continue to burn internally of the fire. This fire was instrumental in clearing approximately 5,070 acres of forest fuels just north of Pine and Strawberry and will help to protect those communities from severe wildfires.

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 5,964 acres.

Resources: 2-Type 3 engines, 2-Type 6 engines, 1-Water Tender, and various firefighting individuals, totaling 45 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. This week, wind shift reversed the smoke direction, which impacted the Verde Valley, Cornville and Cottonwood. Smoke will disperse during the day to the south directly on the fire and then winds aloft will continue to move the smoke south today at 10 – 15 mph. This morning, smoke is dispersing throughout the I-17 corridor, Munds Park, and Sedona areas. At night, light smoke from the Pivot Rock Fire is expected to settle into low areas and nearby canyons, including the I-17 corridor, Munds Park, and Sedona, 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. View Forest Order Pivot Rock Fire Closure for details and map. The closure boundary will be expanded from FR 149 to 144, west of SR 260, south to SR 87, and north to FR 149 to cover planned operations. Motorists in the area of the fire are encouraged to slow down, as firefighters and equipment will be working in the area.

Recent & Current Operations: All significant burnout operations were completed two days ago. Pockets of fuel will burn internally for a period of time, but no large growth of the perimeter is expected at this time. Some resources from this fire will start to transfer to the Jack Fire as it starts to gain in size. This fire was to protect important sensitive wildlife, culture significant sights and other values such as communities to the south which may be at risk.

 

News, notices, and information may be found through the following resources:

Additional resources:

Smoke and air quality information:



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