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Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Fire Department

Airzona Wildfires

The map below is showing two fires in northern Arizona, in Kaibab National Forest and Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona. The fire near Sedona is a wildfire that began Sunday at a transient camp and quickly grew to encompass an area of about 2,450 acres.

 
This map is provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The NV Strike Team One was deployed to the fire in Kaibab National Forest. It is not a wildfire but rather a wildland fire use fire. USDA Forest Service provides the following description of a wildland fire use fire:

A wildland fire use fire is a fire that is managed for resource benefits. Before a fire is put into wildland fire use status, land managers evaluate several criteria. For example, if a fire threatens life, property or resources, it is not considered appropriate for wildland fire use and is immediately suppressed. Once a fire is put into wildland fire use status, it is actively managed, meaning that fire managers establish boundaries and define weather and fuels conditions under which the fire will be allowed to burn. All wildland fire use fires must be naturally-ignited.

Information on the fire from the USDA Forest Service website

WFU Name: Warm Wildland Fire Use

Time/Date Started: June 8; was discovered by fire personnel

Location: North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest; The Warm Wildland Fire Use Fire is located about 3 miles south of Jacob Lake adjacent to state Highway 67. It is on the west side of Highway 67.

Cause: Lightning (All WFUs must be naturally-ignited.)

Fuels: Ponderosa pine litter

Acreage Treated: 105 acres; continued growth expected

Resource Benefits: Reduction of heavy accumulations of fuel on the forest floor; restoration of fire to the ecosystem; recycling of nutrients into the soil; protection of the Jacob Lake area from future high-intensity wildland fires.

Summary: The Warm Wildland Fire Use Fire burned actively yesterday and treated the landscape with low-to-moderate intensity fire. The fire’s effects on the landscape have been very positive. The Warm Wildland Fire Use Fire is demonstrating how fire behaves when it is allowed to actively function as an ecological process. It is creating a mosaic across the landscape, with some areas burned at a low level of intensity and others burned at a higher intensity. The Warm Wildland Fire Use Fire is treating acres directly adjacent to state Highway 67. While the highway remains open, there have been smoke impacts. Today, fire managers expect that smoke impacts to the highway could continue. There could be possible short-term delays if necessary in order to ensure the safety of motorists. A pilot car may be used to aid safe traffic flow in the area. A fire use team (Hahnenberg) will arrive today and will take over management responsibilities of the fire use fire by tomorrow. Fire managers are extremely pleased with the Warm Wildland Fire Use Fire. Given its location and prevailing winds, the fire’s treatments should help protect the Jacob Lake area from future high-intensity wildland fires.

USDA Forest Service - Fire & Aviation Management