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.
As a result of drought conditions, hot temperatures and increased fire danger, officials have announced elevated fire restrictions for the Tonto National Forest beginning Fri, May 23 at 8 a.m. The new restrictions prohibit virtually all fire or fire-causing activities in the forest. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or charcoal-burning device is banned.
The Woods Canyon Fire on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests in the Black Mesa Ranger District is currently at 88 acres and 40 percent containment. Officials say dozer and handlines have been created on the east and west sides of the fire, but crews are still battling spot fires on the north side. The fire is located about 22 miles west of Heber-Overgaard.
According to the Coconino National Forest, an approximately 20-acre Slide Fire has caused the announcement of evacuation orders for areas of Oak Creek Canyon north of Slide Rock State Park. According to the Arizona Daily Sun, Highway 89 is closed at the Oak Creek Overlook and may soon close near Ft. Tuthill in Flagstaff. The Slide Fire was reported around 4 p.m. today and is burning on the north side of the highway near Slide Rock State Park.
Traffic/Fire Alert: ADOT reports that I-17 is closed in both directions near Sunset Point north of Phoenix due to a brush fire. The freeway is closed from mile marker 254 northbound, to mile marker 262 southbound. No word yet as to the size of the fire or when I-17 may reopen. You can find more information at az511.gov or follow ADOT's Facebook page and Twitter feed (@ArizonaDOT).