Sunday, June 21, 2015

Horse Tank and Camillo Fires Benefit Forest


Flagstaff, Ariz., June 18, 2015, For Immediate Release — The lightning-caused Horse Tank and Camillo Fires continue to burn in a beneficial manner by restoring the forest and reducing the risk of severe fire. Fire Managers and crews are making calculated decisions on how to use these wildfires to restore the forest. Important tactics include allowing the fires to consume hazardous fuels with overall low severity and conducting burnout operations to dictate where the fire can move and when.  Both fires are burning across the forest floor reducing fuel accumulations and promoting forest health.

Crews performed burnout operations throughout the afternoon to solidify western boundaries.
Today: Fire activity and smoke will be lower today, as it continues to smolder and creep in interior pockets of unburned fuels.
Smoke: Visible from Highways 260 and 87, I-17, Payson, Pine, Strawberry, Blue Ridge and the Verde Valley. There was an increase in smoke yesterday due to continued burnout operations, which was normal and expected. Smoke is anticipated to be lighter most of the day today.
Closures: Forest Roads 9366R, 9384A, 9381, 609 and a portion of 9361A.
Acres Treated: 1,518 acres (management area is approximately 5,000 acres)
Start Date: June 6, 2015
Location: Six miles north of Strawberry, south of Highway 260 near the junction with Hwy 87

Personnel brought fire south with low severity fire ignitions along the KV high voltage WAPA power lines. This strategy reintroduces fire into the ecosystem while adding future protection to these crucial KV lines.
Today: Crews continue conducting burnout operations; this tactic allows fire managers to determine how and where the fire moves through the forest. Crews are preparing for future ignitions along Forest Highway 3 from FR 125 south to FR 124, and are working closely with Forest Service specialists to protect historical sites in the area. 
Smoke: The majority of smoke will disperse to the northeast. It is not expected to impact Flagstaff, but will be visible from town. Smoke will be noticeable on Lake Mary Road (Forest Highway 3) and in Mormon Lake Village overnight.
Closures: The immediate fire area will be closed. Visitors should abide by on-the-ground closure signs, which will change as the active fire area moves. Forest Roads 125 and 124 (to Kinnikinick Lake) are open, but delays are possible because of fire personnel and equipment in the area.
Acres Treated: 2,381 acres (management area is approximately 46,000 acres)
Start Date: June 14, 2015
Location: 20 miles south of Flagstaff, just southeast of Mormon Lake.
Motorists should be cautious while traveling on Highway 260, State Route 87, and Lake Mary Road (Forest Highway 3). Smoke may reduce visibility and fire personnel will be working on and near the roads throughout the day. No closures to these roads are anticipated, but delays are possible.

The Horse Tank and Camillo Fires are fulfilling their natural and crucial role in forest health and fuels reduction. The forest needs frequent, low severity fire to restore wildlife habitat, promote healthy vegetation, reduce fuels and the risk of severe fire, and create safer conditions for residents, visitors, and firefighters.

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