Firefighters to Begin Aerial Ignition Operations

Release Date: Jun 13, 2017  

Contact(s): (928) 288-2577


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.

Crews have been prepping for the operation since the fire began, including wrapping the historic cabin with fire-resistant materials. The ignition operation, which will occur over multiple days, will be accomplished by dropping incendiary devices from a helicopter. The aerial operation is possible now because of less severe winds. Fire may be visible from surrounding communities.

Fuel reduction operations are not limited to the tower and the historic cabin; crews are continuing to create a buffer around private properties and in-holdings. Plans are also being made for containment lines within the fire planning area.

Strong and changing winds limited firefighting operations on Monday. However, the fire did not spread significantly. Dry air and lighter winds will change the pattern of smoke movement. A smoke column may be visible today because lighter winds are not dispersing the smoke. As a result, Flagstaff’s east-side residents may be subjected to smoky conditions over the next few days.

Fire managers met with community members in Tuba City on Monday. The area has been heavily affected by smoke and much of the meeting dealt with smoke issues.

For more information, details, and the specific objectives for the Boundary Fire, visit inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5209/. Quick updates are available via Twitter at @KaibabNF and @CoconinoNF. Follow us if you would like to be updated as information is received.

Name: Boundary Fire
Reported: June 1
Cause: Lightning
Location: About 17 miles northwest of Flagstaff burning in the Kendrick Mountain Wilderness and ponderosa pine forest north and east of the Wilderness on the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests
Size: 5,661 acres
Containment: 5%
Fuels: The wildfire is burning in heavy dead and down trees and forest debris left from the Pumpkin Fire of 2000 and ponderosa pine outside of the Pumpkin Fire scar.
Resources: Approximately 480 personnel on the fire
Closures: Closure Order Number 04-17-13-F (map) affecting the Boundary Fire Planning Area is still in effect. US Highway 180 will remain closed because of smoky conditions until further notice. For information about highway closures visit azdot.gov or visit ADOT’s Travel Information Site at www.az511.gov.
Trails: The following trails in the closure area are closed: Pumpkin Trail; Kendrick Mountain Trail; Bull Basin Trail and the 4th Connector Trail.
Smoke Impacts: Smoke will be visible from Flagstaff, Baderville, Parks, Williams, Interstate 40, and the Grand Canyon. An air quality report is available on the Boundary Inciweb page under maps.

Additional information sources, including maps, will be provided as soon as they are available.

Firefighters to Begin Aerial Ignition Operations - news release issued June 13, 2017