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.
According to officials with the Coconino National Forest, crews are responding to a small fire at the southeast base of Mt. Elden in Flagstaff. Currently, it's less than one acre in size and is burning north of the Flagstaff Ranger District office on Highway 89. Smoke will likely be noticeable from town. KNAU will report more information as it becomes available.
According to the Coconino National Forest, the Junipine Fire is 12 acres and 25 percent contained. It has been moving toward the Slide Fire burn area, but also south in an area that had not previously burned. About 60 to 70 personnel are on scene.
The fire was reported at 3:15 p.m. on Monday and its cause is thought to have been a downed power line, though that's not confirmed yet. Officials are cautiously optimistic that the fire will be contained by the end of the day Tuesday.
The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for Monday until 8 p.m. for virtually all of northern Arizona. Strong winds and low humidity are expected throughout the day and could create conditions highly prone to wildfire.
As of Sat, May 24 the Woods Fire in the Black Mesa Ranger District of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest was fully contained and 88 acres in size. No structures or power lines were damaged or threatened and no injuries were reported.
Officials have determined that the fire was caused by an illegal and escaped campfire outside of developed campgrounds while Stage I fire restrictions were in place. An investigation is ongoing.
Due to increased fire danger, the Coconino and Kaibab national forests will enact Stage II fire restrictions beginning Fri, May 30 at 8 a.m. This bans most fire-oriented activities on the national forests.
On the Kaibab National Forest, the ban only applies to Williams and Tusayan ranger districts. Due to different weather and fuel conditions, the restrictions do not apply to the North Kaibab Ranger District. For more info on national forest fire restrictions, see http://firerestrictions.us.az.
Also on Friday, the City of Flagstaff will implement its own Stage II fire restrictions. This prohibits all open burning, such as in fire pits and chimineas, as well as the use of charcoal BBQ grills in all city parks, natural areas and private residences. Smoking in parks and on the Flagstaff Urban Trail System is also banned. For more info, see www.flagstaff.az.gov.
The Coconino County Board of Supervisors has approved a ban on all fires on public and private lands in the unincorporated areas of the county effective immediately. The prohibition will remain until the danger of wildfire decreases.
The ban applies to all open fires, campfires and other pyrotechnic displays. The Board of Supervisors had previously banned the use and sale of fireworks in the county.