Boulin Fire Now 756 Acres, Drone Intrusion Averted

Contact(s): Bob Blasi 928-635-5653

Williams, Ariz., August 14, 2019—For Immediate Release. The Boulin Fire on the Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest has grown to 756 acres benefiting forest health, reducing hazardous fuels, and improving protection of the communities within the urban interface.

Fire Officials received a report from an alert local resident who witnessed seeing an individual preparing to operate an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), also known as “drones,” in the immediate fire area. Although no contact was made, it is critically important to remind people to avoid operating these type of aircraft anywhere near an active wildfire or prescribed fire to ensure the safety of firefighters and the effectiveness of operations.

“It may be hard for individuals who aren’t familiar with wildfire operations to understand why it’s so dangerous for them to fly a UAS over a wildfire,” said Jim Burton, Safety Officer on the Boulin Fire.  “Firefighting aircraft typically fly in smoky, windy, and turbulent conditions. Safety depends on knowing what other aircraft are operating in the airspace and where they are at all times. This can be compromised by the presence of unauthorized aircraft, including UAS.”


Start Date: August 5, 2019.

Cause: Lightning.

Location: East of Spring Valley near The Beale Wagon Trail and forest roads 141, 713, and 730.

Current Size: 756 acres.

Incident Commander: Nick Behrends ICT4 / Tyler Richwine ICT4T.

Resources: One-Type 2 Hand crew, one- Fuels crew, two-Type 6 Engines, two-Type 3 Engines, one-Patrol unit, one-Dozer, and eight- Miscellaneous overhead. Total personnel assigned is 50.

Current Status: Fire continues to move moderately in a westerly direction away from the residential area as predicted. The fire remains active and will continue to consume available fuels as weather conditions persist. Crews continue to fortify control features keeping pace with the fires movement.

Smoke: Smoke impacts have intermittently expanded in distance several miles from the immediate vicinity of the fire during the overnight hours as atmospheric patterns change. However lift and dispersion follows quickly by mid-morning each day.


Smoke will continue to be visible and may occasionally impact Highway 64, Highway 180, and the communities of Williams, Pittman Valley, Garland Prairie, Spring Valley, Parks, Red Lake, Pumpkin Center, Bellemont, Fort Valley, and Flagstaff.

For information about air quality and health awareness visit


Additional information about the Boulin Fire, and the Kaibab National Forest can be obtained through the following sources:

Boulin Fire Now 756 Acres, Drone Intrusion Averted News Release 08/14/2019  Map