Whiskey Fire within footprint of 2014 Slide Fire
Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona, Village of Oak Creek may experience smoke impacts
FLAGSTAFF – As of 10 a.m. Monday, wildland firefighters are managing the Whiskey Fire, located about 15 miles southwest of Flagstaff.
According to a news release from the Coconino National Forest, the 105-acre fire was caused by lightning on Sept. 2 and is within the footprint of the 2014 Slide Fire.
Fire managers are strategic when making decisions about how to manage a wildfire for restoration purposes, the news release stated. “When a wildfire begins in the forest, fire managers assess how best to use the fire as nature intended and whether or not to suppress it immediately.”
With the Whiskey Fire, managers are “using it as nature intended and allowing it to burn dense forest fuels across the landscape to help mitigate the possibility of severe wildfires in the future,” the Coconino National Forest stated.
Coconino National Forest also stated that fire managers “will continue to assess the fire to determine the best course of action.”
Fire personnel will continue to reinforce containment lines and monitor the fire for a change in fire behavior. These operations will be similar to the past few days.
Recent rains continue to aid fire personnel by creating excellent conditions for allowing the fire to burn slowly, consuming the forest debris at low intensities.
Predicted smoke impacts
Expect increased smoke production over the next few days, impacting Flagstaff, Lake Mary and Kachina Village.
Communities at lower elevations, such as Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona and Village of Oak Creek may also experience smoke impacts in the evening and overnight as smoke drains into those areas.
Firefighter, public safety, and ecosystem health remain the top priorities for fire managers while keeping the fire within the planning area.
Smoke may appear thicker at times due to burnout operations or as the wildfire consumes larger trees. This is normal.
None currently, but a closure around the fire area is anticipated soon, and parts of Forest Road 231 may be closed periodically to allow for safe firefighting operations.
Recent and current operations
Wildland firefighting crews are conducting burnout operations to ensure it remains in the planning area. Current operations are taking place along Forest Road 231.
For more information, visit inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6580.
-- Information provided by Coconino National Forest
Additional firing operations at Sheridan Fire
PRESCOTT NATIONAL FOREST – Fire managers anticipate an opportunity this week to ignite some of the still unburned fuels in the interior of the Sheridan Fire.
Now 60% contained, the 21,510-acre Sheridan Fire is located about 23 miles northwest of Prescott on the Chino Valley District.
These operations, according to a news release from the Prescott National Forest, will serve to improve the health and ecological function of the area and reduce the risk of high intensity fire for many years into the future.
A variety of factors dictate when a window of opportunity may arise and how much smoke it could produce over the area, the news release stated. Not much smoke is expected, and whatever smoke is produced will travel to the north and east with the wind direction, generally affecting communities along northern Williamson Valley Road and into Paulden.
Forest officials reduced the Sheridan Fire area closure. County Road 68 – Camp Wood Road – is now open, the news release stated. All areas north of County Road 68 are open, with the exception of a small area adjacent to Forest Service Roads 95 and 9821B.
The area south of County Road 68 remains closed. The current closure area map and detailed description are available on Inciweb and on the Prescott National Forest website.
For more information, call Bradshaw Ranger District at 928-443-8000 or visit the Prescott National Forest Website at fs.usda.gov/prescott.
Or visit Inciweb at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6522.
-- Information provided by Prescott National Forest