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Fri, Aug. 23

UPDATE: Woodbury Fire 48% contained; spreads to 112,899 acres

Firefighters have contained 25% of the Woodbury Fire, a fire that has grown to 96,307 acres. Tonto National Forest photo

Firefighters have contained 25% of the Woodbury Fire, a fire that has grown to 96,307 acres. Tonto National Forest photo

TONTO NATIONAL FOREST – As of 8 p.m. Monday, firefighters have contained 48% of the Woodbury Fire, a fire that has grown to 112,899 acres.

According to the Incident Information System: InciWeb, the fire’s estimated containment date is midnight Monday, July 15.

The west side of the fire northeast of Apache Junction “continues to show no growth and lines are holding,” according to a press release from the Tonto National Forest.

Forest Service officials have said the fire was human-caused, and under investigation, according to TNF website.

As of June 24, no structures have been reported lost from the Woodbury Fire, according to the TNF website. “Efforts to secure these values with structure protection and firing operations have been successful. Mining operations and KV power lines have not been impacted by wildfire. No major injuries have been reported, only minor lacerations and heat-related illness.”

According to the June 24 TNF press release, firefighters continue to secure firelines by adding depth through low intensity fire in the HWY 188 corridor.

Crews in this area are also improving lines around residences and power line infrastructure. Wildfire progressed towards Roosevelt Lake and connected with the intentional firing operations.

According to InciWeb, 931 personnel are involved in fighting the wildfire, which began five miles northwest of Superior at about 1:30 p.m. on June 8.

According to InciWeb, crews will patrol and monitor the fire’s northeast portion, and firing operations will be conducted if needed.

In the Pinto Valley mine area, crews will be reinforcing lines from Sawtooth Ridge north to the head of the northeast fire flank.

The south, southwest and west flanks have been put into patrol/monitor status and resources have been allocated for suppression repair.

A night shift has been implemented to keep fire from crossing HWY 188 “and to protect all values at risk,” according to InciWeb.

Projected incident activity

Over the next 24 hours, southwest ridge winds diminish overnight reducing potential for rapid fire spread and downslope wind alignment issues.

Interior pockets of fire spread are expected to continue in higher elevations with continuous heavy shrub fuels with Pinyon Pine-Juniper mix, with continued activity in the Fish Creek Canyon area as fire encounters unburned fuels.

Expect minimal heat retention from previously fired areas.

In the next 48 hours, continued hot and dry conditions with stronger southwest winds is likely to produce sustained burning conditions where the fire is active.

Heavy shrub fuels at higher elevations – the northeast side of fire – will continue to produce pockets of very active fire behavior.

Areas of upslope fire spread will continue to merge with areas of fire on upper slopes, some interior unburned islands will likely remain. Unburned fuel pockets may cause flare up as they consume.

Expect very little heat retention in areas where firing operations have occurred.

In the next 72 hours, expect strong southwest winds with hot and dry conditions to continue.

Also a continued pattern of low relative humidity and high temperatures maintain conditions favorable for fire growth.

Where active, the fire continues to encounter fuel type change from heavy shrub fuels with Pinyon Pine and Juniper mix to lighter grass/shrub models.

Pockets of unburned fuels will continue to consume between upper and lower slopes. Overall activity expected to become more focused on lessor portions in the fire area. Generally diminished amount of smoke.

For more information about the Woodbury Fire, visit inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6382 or fs.usda.gov/detail/tonto/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD639892.

-- Information provided by Incident Information System: InciWeb

MONDAY'S REPORT

TONTO NATIONAL FOREST – As of 6 p.m. Sunday, firefighters have contained 25% of the Woodbury Fire, a fire that has grown to 96,307 acres.

But the west side of the fire northeast of Apache Junction “continues to show no growth and lines are holding,” according to a press release from the Tonto National Forest.

Forest Service officials have said the fire was human-caused, and under investigation, according to TNF website.

Crews along the northern edge of the fire below Apache Lake are solidifying the fire line, the June 23 release stated, as they introduced low intensity fire along Davis Wash “to protect the HWY 88 corridor and infrastructure.”

Additional low intensity fire was used north of Tonto National Monument toward HWY 88, the release stated, as the fire “grew slightly to the east to Nonesuch Rock and was hit heavily with helicopter water drops.”

Hotshot crews were sent to the Rock Spring Barn Corral area to build direct fireline due to favorable terrain with support from helicopters.

According to the incident information system InciWeb, 905 personnel are involved in fighting the wildfire, which began five miles northwest of Superior at about 1:30 p.m. on June 8.

According to InciWeb, crews will patrol and monitor the fire’s northeast portion, and firing operations will be conducted if needed.

In the Pinto Valley mine area, crews will be reinforcing lines from Sawtooth Ridge north to the head of the northeast fire flank.

The south, southwest and west flanks have been put into patrol/monitor status and resources have been allocated for suppression repair.

A night shift has been implemented to keep fire from crossing HWY 188 “and to protect all values at risk,” according to InciWeb.

Projected incident activity

Over the next 24 hours, southwest ridge winds diminish overnight reducing potential for rapid fire spread and downslope wind alignment issues.

Interior pockets of fire spread are expected to continue in higher elevations with continuous heavy shrub fuels with Pinyon Pine-Juniper mix.

Expect minimal heat retention from previously fired areas. Significant increase in smoke production during firing operations, especially late evening and night time period.

Over the next 48 hours, continued hot and dry conditions likely to produce sustained burning conditions. Heavy shrub fuels at higher elevations (NE side of fire) will continue to produce pockets of very active fire behavior.

Continued tactical firing operations to secure perimeter line, and provide additional burnout depth. Areas of upslope fire spread will merge with areas of fire on upper slopes, some interior unburned islands will likely remain.

Unburned fuel pockets will cause flare up as they consume. Expect very little heat retention in areas where firing operations have occurred.

In the next 72 hours, increasing south-to southwest winds, with hot and dry conditions continuing. Continued pattern of low relative humidity – RH – and high temperatures maintain conditions favorable for fire growth.

Greater portions of the fire will encounter fuel type change from heavy shrub fuels with Pinyon Pine and Juniper mix to lighter grass and shrub models.

As necessary, tactical firing operations will continue to provide a secure perimeter. Pockets of unburned fuels will consume between upper and lower slopes.

Overall activity expected to become more focused on fewer portions of the fire area. Generally diminished amount of smoke.

For more information about the Woodbury Fire, visit inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6382 or fs.usda.gov/detail/tonto/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD639892.

Kaibab to begin Russell Prescribed Fire Project

TUSAYAN — Beginning Monday and expected to last through the week, fire managers on the south zone of the Kaibab National Forest will prescribe fire operations on the Tusayan Ranger Districts.

According to a press release from Dyan Bone of the Kaibab National Forest, ignitions will take place on the Russell Rx project located approximately 18 miles southeast of Tusayan.

The project’s purpose is to burn 2,130 acres, which would clear the area of flammable fuel sources “that could prevent a potential wildfire from occurring,” the release stated.

According to South Zone Engine Captain Brandon Oberhardt, this year’s wet conditions provide the “rare opportunity to do some in-season prescribed burning to reduce heavy fuels.”

Because of higher snow and precipitation levels that were received across northern Arizona this past winter, conditions have presented ideal opportunities to implement prescribed burns this summer, the release stated.

“Prescribed fire is one of the many tools used to accomplish multiple forest restoration objectives,” the release stated. “It is also beneficial as a practical method to reduce risks associated with uncharacteristic wildfires that can pose significant threats to public health and safety.”

Smoke will be “highly visible at times” near Desert View on the east entrance to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim.

“Officials understand that smoke impacts to air quality may be heavy at times, however, prescribed fires can significantly reduce the effects of an uncontrolled wildfire,” the release stated. “Smoke will be monitored very closely with the intent to minimize impacts to rural areas.”

During operations, fire personnel and vehicles working in these vicinities will be visible to the public, the release stated. “Motorists are reminded to slow down and drive with heightened awareness when passing through active project areas.”

All prescribed burning on the Kaibab National Forest is subject to approval by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

For additional information about the Smoke Management Division of the ADEQ and to view prescribed burns authorizations, please visit azdeq.gov/environ/air/smoke/index.html.

Additional fire information for Kaibab National Forest can be obtained through the following sources:

Fire Information Recorded Hotline: 928-635-8311

Twitter: twitter.com/KaibabNF

Kaibab Facebook: facebook.com/KaibabNF

Kaibab website “Recent News”: fs.usda.gov/kaibab

Kaibab South Zone Rx Fire: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5922/

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