Monsoon moisture sets in over Museum Fire
FLAGSTAFF – A local Type 3 organization assumed command of the Museum Fire at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30, 2019.
The organization, led by Incident Commander Preston Mercer, will continue to prioritize the safety of firefighters and the public, protecting values at risk including homes, communication sites, and recreation and cultural resources, while providing support with planning and evaluation of post-fire watershed impacts.
As of Wednesday morning, the 1,961-acre Museum Fire is 82 percent contained and the cause is under investigation.
Resources assigned to the fire included seven hotshot crews, one Type 2 hand crew, four helicopters, nine engines and, three bulldozers.
Tuesday, the fire received rain into the afternoon, bringing much-needed moisture, but also pausing suppression repair efforts. Crews were to continue that work Wednesday, including chipping, pulling hose lays and removing felled logs that could clog drainages – dependent on weather and road conditions.
Monsoon moisture is predicted in the fire area through Friday, limiting fire spread and decreasing fire activity and smoke within the perimeter. Measurements from the rain gauges that were installed by the Type 1 Incident Management Team can be viewed at coconino.jefulleralert.com/jefmap/.
The Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team completed their field work yesterday and produced a Soil Burn Severity (SBS) map, available at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/map/6450/.
The Soil Burn Severity (SBS) map is produced by field verifying the Burned Area Reflectance Classification (BARC) map, which is a satellite derived image comparing pre and post fire conditions. Soil burn severity is classified by assessing the effects of a fire on ground surface characteristics and is based on fire-induced changes in physical and biological soil properties.
The term “Soil Burn Severity” is used to differentiate post-fire soil properties from fire effects on vegetation (such as tree mortality). BAER teams utilize field verified soil burn severity mapping to assess secondary wildfire effects, including increased runoff, erosion, flooding, and sedimentation.
The Museum Fire Information phone line remains open from 8 AM to 6 PM at 928-288-2484. Information is also available on Facebook at www.facebook.com/museumfireinfo and Twitter @MuseumFireInfo.