Fires continue to be an issue in Arizona on June 20, 2019. The largest of these is the Woodbury fire. On the evening of June 20, evacuations were issued for Woodbury. Read on for details about the fires, their locations, containment size, maps, and more.
According to Inciweb, multiple wildfires are burning in Arizona right now.
You can see an interactive fire map for the Arizona area here, provided by NWCG.gov. An embedded version is below, but click on the link to see a full version.
Here are the fires currently in Arizona as of June 20, 2019, listed in alphabetical order, so the Woodbury Fire is at the end of this article. Some of them are prescribed fires that are set purposefully by officials to help prevent bigger wildfires from starting and spreading. These fires are listed in alphabetical order.
The Bylas fire closed Highway 70 in Gila Valley temporarily on June 12. It’s near the community of Bylas between Globe and Stafford. Later all lanes on 70 were reopened.
According to NIFC, the fire is 340 acres and 73 percent contained, 25 miles northwest of Datil.
This fire grew from 9,665 acres on June 11 but to 16,790 acres as of June 13, according to Inciweb. As of June 18 at 12:48 p.m., it is still 16,790 acres, but the good news is that it’s now 90 percent contained. The map above, from June 13, is the most recent map.
The fire was caused by lightning and is four miles south of Clints Well.
Inciweb noted: “Fire personnel with the Mogollon Rim Ranger District are currently monitoring the perimeter and remaining fire activity of internal smoldering pockets. A temporary forest closure remains in effect to ensure no one is injured or killed by the fire-weakened trees, burning debris and stump holes present in the interior of the fire. To review the closure go to https://go.usa.gov/xmJFV. The public can expect to see minimal smoke from the Coldwater Fire for a few more weeks, but nothing substantial.”
This fire is still listed as active on Inciweb. As of June 10, it was listed as 503 acres and 100 percent contained.
Kaibab Prescribed Fires (North and South Zones)
This is a prescribed fire, listed on Inciweb and divided into north and south zones. The map above is the north zone and it’s the most recent map released by Inciweb.
It’s 10 miles southeast of Williams. On June 19 Inciweb wrote: “Ignitions are complete for today on the planned Moquitch-3 prescribed fire project at the North Kaibab Ranger District, Kaibab National Forest. Fire managers have reported approximately 785 acres treated during today’s operations. All containment lines are holding as expected and crews expect to resume all operations tomorrow. Going into the weekend, Friday’s weather forecast calls for increased wind activity. This means crews are not planning any active firing operations for Friday, but will instead shift the operational focus to monitoring fire behavior, smoke, and holding and patrolling. Ignitions may resume on Saturday, if forecasted high wind activity subsides.”
Here’s a map of the south zone.
Inciweb wrote on June 20: “Fire managers on the south zone of the Kaibab National Forest will continue operations on multiple prescribed fire projects on both the Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts over the next several days and into next week as conditions remain optimal for beneficial burn treatments. When firing ignitions occur, they are done in the morning and discontinue in the early afternoon to allow time for good ventilation and to minimize smoke impacts to the adjacent communities.” The south zone fires include the Russell Prescribed Fire, the Sunflower Prescribed Fire, and the Reed Prescribed Fire.
Long Jim I & III Prescribed Fire
This is a new prescribed fire in the Grand Canyon region to help prevent out-of-control fires.
This wildfire is currently 8,206 acres and is about 18 miles northeast of Flagstaff off Leupp Road near Maroon Crater, Inciweb noted in its last update about the fire on June 18. It’s 80 percent contained as of June 18. The fire was caused by lightning and is 18 miles northeast of Flagstaff, off Leupp Road near Maroon Crater, Inciweb noted.
Inciweb notes that the fire has transitioned back to a Type 4 fire, allowing resource numbers to be scaled back. However, the work isn’t completely over, KTAR noted on June 16. The focus is on controlling and managing the fire rather than putting it out, KTAR reported.
This fire is unique because the Maroon Crater was used for WWII artillery training and unexploded ordnance might still be off the designated roads, Inciweb noted. The fire has transitioned back to a Type 4 fire and fire teams will continue to secure holding features and reduce fire-related roadway hazards.
This fire is 7,470 acres as of June 18 at 12:03 p.m. and 100 percent contained.
The fire was caused by human activity with the exact cause still under investigation. It’s eight miles east of the Cave Creek Ranger District Office. It was first reported June 7 at noon and was completely in the Tonto National Forest.
Inciweb noted on June 18: “The Mountain Fire, 8 miles east of Cave Creek Ranger District office, is now 100 percent contained. Crews are on-site patrolling and conducting suppression rehabilitation work. Ash and dust whirlwinds may be visible. If you see smoke in the area of the fire, you are encouraged to call Phoenix Interagency Fire Center Dispatch at (480) 457-1555.”
This fire started May 1 and has not been updated on Inciweb since May 7, although it’s still listed on Inciweb as active. It was caused by lighting and is being managed. It is not an out-of-control fire. It’s 72 acres and burning 65 miles south of St. George, Utah.
Spring/Summer Prescribed Fire
This is another prescribed fire burning 10 miles north of Flagstaff. The size is about 1,190 acres and it will be a one-day operation.
Woodbury Fire in Tonto National Forest (Superstition Mountains)
The Woodbury fire is in the Superstition Mountains northwest of Superior, Arizona. It’s been the most troublesome of Arizona fires lately. It was 150 acres as of the evening of June 8 and was 5,000 acres as of June 11. On June 13 it was 10,090 acres and on June 15 it was 25,893 acres because of an unexpected dryline. On June 18 it was 40,557 acres in size and just 6 percent contained. As of June 20 at 8:43 a.m., it’s now 50,494 acres and 41 percent contained. So although it’s growing, containment is also increasing.
The cause of the fire is now listed as unknown on Inciweb rather than human-caused.
The following embedded map of the fire is provided by MappingSupport.com and Joseph Elfelt.
According to Inciweb, triple-digit temperatures over the next few days and single-digit humidity, along with increasing winds, might cause the fire behavior to increase in the coming days.
On June 20 Inciweb wrote that over the next 72 hours, threats of strong ridge winds will continue, so the danger is not yet over. Winds will diminish after 72 hours, but hot and dry conditions will remain.
Inciweb wrote on June 20: “High intensity fire behavior due to critical fire weather will be the primary challenge for fire fighters today. Very active fire behavior was observed through the night last night. Yesterday evening the fire crossed Spencer drainage and ran up the northeastern aspect of the canyon where it met previously applied retardant drops on Sawtooth ridge. Aircraft reinforced that retardant line with additional water. Operations continued through the night to address this night-time fire behavior.”
Firefighters are focusing on protecting power lines, the Carlota and Capstone-Pinto Valley mines, clearing vegetation at the Reevis Mountain School, and more. The fire is now about a mile away from Reevis Mountain School, and conditions will provide for “fast fire movement” to the east and northeast, Inciweb said.
Roosevelt and Roosevelt Lake area residents were currently in a “Set” notification under “Ready, Set, Go” earlier today, but now they are being asked to evacuate.
The Gila County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation alert on June 20 for residents in the Roosevelt Lake area, KTAR reported. This alert included the Roosevelt community, where residents were told to leave immediately, bringing pets, medications, money, and valuables. They were told to close windows and doors before leaving. A temporary shelter’s been set up for residents and small pets at Lee Kornegay School at 4735 S. Ragus Road in Miami. Livestock can be sheltered at the Gila County Fairgrounds. If owners can’t evacuate their livestock, they are asked to paint phone numbers on the animals and set them loose.
- “The Tonto National Forest has closed the Superstition Wilderness and adjacent Forest.”
- “State Highway 88 is closed from south of Needle Vista east to the junction of State Highway 88 and State Highway 188. This includes Tortilla Flat, Canyon Lake, Apache Lake. The NPS Tonto National Monument is also closed.”
- “The Forest Service Campgrounds at Roosevelt Lake east of Roosevelt Dam will be closed this morning June 20th.”
- “SR 188 between SR 288/188 junction to Roosevelt Dam,” per the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.
For updates: Follow Tonto Forest on Twitter, the U.S. Forest Service for Tonto National Forest on Facebook, Gila County Sheriff’s Office on Facebook, and the fire’s Inciweb page for the latest updates about the fire.