Fire Season 2014

KNAU and Arizona News
9:52 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Coconino National Forest Managing Four Lightning-Caused Wildfires

Coconino National Forest officials are actively managing four lightning-caused fires. All are burning at a low intensity on the forest floor. As on the Kaibab National Forest, these fires are being used to increase safety, reduce fuels and for vegetation and wildlife habitat restoration.

The 300-acre Willard Fire is burning south of Flagstaff between Oak Creek Canyon and I-17 near the Willard Springs Interchange. Smoke may be visible from Kachina Village, Mountainaire, Munds Park and Sedona.

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KNAU and Arizona News
2:24 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Crews Manage Three Fires on the Kaibab National Forest Ahead of Drier Weather

The Sitgreaves Fire burning near Parks on Wed, July 16.
Credit Kaibab National Forest

Managers on the Kaibab National Forest have been taking advantage of wetter conditions by allowing multiple wildfires to burn. But, as Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, with drier weather on the way, crews are preparing for more unpredictable fire activity.

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:01 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Post-Wildfire Bacteria Levels in Oak Creek Heightened After Monsoon Flooding

A badly scorched area just above Oak Creek north of Slide Rock State Park.
Credit Ryan Heinsius

Officials in Coconino County are advising the public not to drink from or swim in Oak Creek. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, recent water contamination is yet another consequence of the Slide Fire.

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Earth Notes
4:01 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Earth Notes: The Slide Fire’s New Old Cabin

Leo Holley, the firefighter who discovered the ruins of the Oak Creek cabin, at the site.
Credit U.S. Forest Service

When intense wildfires burn through well-loved places like Oak Creek Canyon, the sense of loss is deep. But, sometimes wildfires offer gifts in the midst of destruction.

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KNAU and Arizona News
9:22 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Gunshots, Whistles and Cellphones: Age-Old Challenges in Emergency Communication

The Slide Fire started in Oak Creek Canyon and quickly spread north toward Flagstaff. This photo was taken on the second day of the fire when it was still only a couple hundred acres in size.
Credit Ryan Heinsius

The Slide Fire burned more than 21,000 acres in Oak Creek Canyon and forced hundreds of people to evacuate. For more than a week in May, the fire even threatened Flagstaff, the most populous city in northern Arizona. So the folks at Arizona Public Radio wondered, “What is the city’s emergency plan, and how has it changed from its early pioneer days?”

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KNAU and Arizona News
9:00 am
Thu July 3, 2014

San Juan Fire Updates

A map of the San Juan Fire as of Mon, June 30
Credit Courtesy of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests

Update, Thu, July 3, 7:30 a.m.:

The San Juan Fire burning southeast of Show Low is now 70 percent contained and 6,975 acres in size. Crews are conducting mop-up and rehabilitation efforts in the burn area. 

At t 8 a.m. this morning, the evacuation order for Red Cabin Ranch, Whiting Homestead and Carlock Ranch was lifted along with the pre-evacuation order for Greens Peak Hideaway and Hidden Meadows. 

There are currently 624 personnel on scene including four hotshot crews and two helicopters. A partial closure of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests remains in effect.

The fire was human caused and is under investigation.

Update, Wed, July 2, 8 a.m.:

The San Juan Fire is now 15 percent contained and 6,975 acres in size. The blaze's increase in size is mostly due to burnout operations. In total, 679 personnel are fighting the fire. Crews have also begun conducting rehabilitation work on the burn area.

A public meeting will be held at the Vernon Fire Station Wednesday night at 6 p.m.

Update, Tue, July 1, 9 a.m.:

The San Juan Fire burning 18 miles southeast of Show Low is now 6,400 acres and 5 percent contained. It is burning on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests and the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.

Mandatory evacuations remain in effect for Red Cabin Ranch, Whiting Homestead and Carlock Ranch. Pre-evacuation notices have been given to Greens Peak Hideaway and the Hidden Meadows Ranch. The fire's burn area has been closed to the public and road blocks are in place.

A total of 683 personnel are on scene. Overnight operations were successful in removing fuel between constructed fire lines. Crews are conducting burnout operations on the west side of the fire, and overnight operations expanded the fire by about 700 acres. Fire growth in the coming days will likely be as a result of the burnouts. Mop-up operations are being conducted on the north and east sides of the fire.

Heavy smoke as a result of the fire has been present in low-lying areas. The fire was human caused and is under investigation. For updates on the San Juan Fire, see 311info.net.

Update, Mon, June 30, 7:30 a.m.:

The San Juan Fire burning 18 miles southeast of Show Low is now at 5,700 acres and 5 percent containment. A total of 679 personnel are on scene. Successful burnout operations overnight removed fuel between constructed fire lines and the main body of the fire.

Travel on Highway 60 may be affected today due to settling smoke from last night's operations.

A public meeting will be held at the Vernon Fire Station at 6 p.m. Monday night with fire managers and representatives from the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the White Mountain Apache Tribe.

Mandatory evacuations remain in place for Red Cabin Ranch, Whiting Homestead and Carlock Ranch. Pre-evacuation notices have been given to Greens Peak Hideaway and Hidden Meadows Ranch. A closure is also in effect for the fire area in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests.

More info can be found at 311info.net.

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Earth Notes
4:07 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Earth Notes: The Slide Fire’s Mosaic of Impacts

The State Route 89A switchbacks in Oak Creek Canyon after the Slide Fire. Large areas of steep terrain were severely burned in May.
Credit Ryan Heinsius

In late May of this year, wildfire swept through upper Oak Creek Canyon in northern Arizona. By the time firefighters contained it in early June, the Slide Fire had burned some 22,000 acres of chaparral, mixed conifers, and ponderosa pine forest.

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KNAU and Arizona News
6:01 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

With Rain on the Way, Oak Creek Canyon Forest Land to Close Thursday

A severely burned area in Oak Creek Canyon as a result of the Slide Fire, just north of Slide Rock State Park.
Credit Ryan Heinsius

Recently, Coconino National Forest officials announced that all forest lands in Oak Creek Canyon will close due to high flooding danger. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, with rain predicted later in the week, the start date of the closure has been moved up.

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KNAU and Arizona News
9:38 am
Fri June 27, 2014

San Juan Fire Forces Evacuations in the White Mountains

Officials say the San Juan Fire burning on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests in the White Mountains has forced evacuations of 30 homes in the Red Cabin Ranch and Whiting Homestead areas. According the 12 News, a dozen more homes are threatened and a pre-evacuation notice has been given for residents of Greens Peak Hideaway.

The Red Cross has set up a shelter for evacuees at Round Valley Middle School in Eagar at 126 W. 2nd St.

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:00 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Aggressive Treatments Underway for Slide Fire Burn Areas

A helicopter drops straw mulch on a severely burned area north of Slide Rock State Park in Oak Creek Canyon.
Credit Ryan Heinsius

This week, the Coconino National Forest began an aggressive treatment of Oak Creek Canyon’s most severely burned areas from the Slide Fire. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, one part of that process is so-called heli-mulching.

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