Whiskey Fire produces heavy smoke over Northern Arizona
FLAGSTAFF – Smoke impacts from the Whiskey Fire will increase in the Verde Valley and Flagstaff areas through Thursday.
The fire, now at 719 acres, is burning about eight miles east of Turkey Butte Lookout within the footprint of the 2014 Slide Fire.
A type 3 team took over command of the fire at 7 a.m. Sept. 10, according to InciWeb, an incident information system.
Tuesday, firefighters continued to reinforce and construct control lines where appropriate along Forest Service Road 231 in efforts to provide for firefighter and public safety.
Fire management personnel also assessed APS powerline rite of ways, wildlife infrastructures and archeological sites to ensure mitigations are in place to prevent fire from threatening values at risk.
Wednesday, firefighters conducted firing operations on the fire management boundary of the Whiskey Fire along Forest Road 231 to protect areas and ensure the active wildfire stays in its containment area.
Fire activity and smoke impacts will increase in the immediate area through Thursday, in downwind communities and in the Flagstaff area as dozens of firefighters burn fuel on the management boundary reinforcing the wildfire containment.
Forest Road 231 will be closed at the intersection of FR 536 near Phone Booth Tank all the way south to the intersection of FR 231A.
The closure, which began at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, is expected to last two to three days to provide for firefighter and public safety, according to InciWeb.
However, the closure could last longer if necessary to safely continue vital operations. Anyone planning to travel in this area should expect delays and use the alternate routes identified at closure points.
The alternate route will be at Phone Booth Tank, follow FR 538 west to FR 538D, to FR 231A to reconnect to FR 231 South of fire area.
Fire personnel are planning to moderate burnout operations over the weekend to reduce smoke impacts to the area. However, no perfect weather condition exist to remove smoke impacts entirely from a fire.
Smoke may affect areas including Flagstaff, Munds Park, Mountainaire, Kachina Village, Forest Highlands, Doney Park, Mormon Lake Village, SR 89A Corridor, Sedona, Village of Oak Creek, the Verde Valley and portions of I-40.
The fire’s estimated containment date is Wednesday, Oct. 16, according to InciWeb.
For more information, including smoke forecasts for the Whiskey Fire, updates concerning closures and notable fire activity visit the Whiskey Fire InciWeb site inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6580.
Updates will also be provided on the Coconino National Forest’s Twitter and Facebook sites, and the Forest’s website at coconinonationalforest.us.
-- Information provided by InciWeb and Coconino National Forest
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