Coldwater fire 10% contained; prescribed burn expected to run course by monsoon season
CLINTS WELL – The Coldwater Fire is being treated as a prescribed burn, but its origins were not man-made.
A May 30 lightning strike started the fire about four miles south of Clints Well and within one mile east of SR 87, according to Joel Barnett, public information officer for the US Forest Service.
“It’s officially a wildfire,” Barnett. “Though we were planning to treat the area with two low-intensity burns.”
At this time, “no suppression efforts” are taking place with the prescribed burn, Barnett said.
“We have improved the control lines and we’ve done some burning operations to keep the fire from going outside the control lines,” Barnett said.
Smoke from the fire filled the Verde Valley over the weekend, but “winds should shift” by 11 a.m. Monday from the southwest to the northeast. The shifting direction of the wind “should shift the smoke away from the Verde Valley,” Barnett said.
“The winds will cause smoke impacts around Winslow,” Barnett said.
Traffic on Monday will also be impacted on SR 87 between mileposts 281 and 289, Barnett said, with low-intensity ignition work along the highway that will involve “lane closures and smoke impact.”
Barnett said to expect “long delays,” which he said could be “possibly as long as an hour, or more” in both directions of the north-south highway.
Mileposts 281-289 on SR 87 “north of SR 260 to Clints Well, just south of Lake Mary Road,” Barnett said.
As of 7 p.m. Sunday, 6,150 acres in a 17,900-acre planning area had been burned by the fire, which according to Barnett “will probably burn until monsoons.”
“In the areas where there is fuel, once monsoons start and the humidity goes up, the fire will take its natural course,” Barnett said.
Fuels being consumed by the Coldwater Fire include ponderosa pine, pine needles and cones, and mixed conifer.”
“We’re utilizing [the fire] for its benefit,” Barnett said.
More Coldwater Fire information is available at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6363.
Operations are also taking place along Forest Road 141, according to a US Forest press release.
According to InciWeb, the fire is 10% contained at the perimeter as of about 10 p.m. Sunday.
Three levels of fire evacuation
From Sedona Fire District
Fire Marshal Jon Davis offers an important reminder about fire evacuation levels.
According to Davis, the ‘Ready, Set, Go’ system is used to notify communities that they are facing a threat and is used for floods, fires and other hazards.
“Wildfires can occur without warning,” Davis said. “They move quickly and can be unpredictable. You need to prepare now for wildfire season and being familiar with the evacuation levels is a great place to start.”
Emergency Managers in Northern Arizona work closely with Department of Forestry and Fire Management, the State Fire Marshal, United States Forest Service and other agencies each year to promote wildfire awareness and preparedness, and urges all Arizona communities to always follow directions of emergency officials during evacuations.
For more information, visit ein.az.gov/ready-set-go.
The following are the three levels of fire evacuation:
‘Be ready for potential evacuation’
Residents should be aware of the danger that exists in their area, monitor emergency services websites and local media outlets for information.
This is the time for preparation and precautionary movement of persons with special needs, mobile property and (under certain circumstances) pets and livestock.
If conditions worsen, emergency services personnel may contact you via an emergency notification system.
‘Be set to evacuate’
Be ready to leave at a moment’s notice, as this level indicates there is significant danger to your area, and residents should either voluntarily relocate to a shelter or with family/friends outside of the affected area.
Residents may have time to gather necessary items, but doing so is at their own risk.
Go! Evacuate now! Leave immediately!
Danger to your area is current or imminent, and you should evacuate immediately.
If you choose to ignore this advisement, you must understand that emergency services may not be available to assist you further.
Do not delay leaving to gather any belongings or make efforts to protect your home.