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Fire managers making use of Coldwater Fire atop Mogollon Rim
CLINTS WELL, Ariz., June 4, 2019 - Fire managers on the Mogollon Rim Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest have determined a lightning-caused fire that began May 30 is ideal for managing and will allow the fire to fulfill its natural role and consume forest debris.
The 2,273-acre Coldwater Fire is approximately 4 miles south of Clints Well, burning in an area consisting of dead and down pine and mixed conifer. Firefighters conducted burnout operations Monday to secure boundaries of the fire, and additional burnout operations are planned throughout the week along Forest Road 141, heading east, southeast. This will increase smoke impacts to the surrounding area and canyons.
In addition to the burnout operations, crews will begin to address hazard trees along state Route 87 in the fire area. There will be times when Arizona Department of Transportation personnel will be closing sections of Route 87 at small intervals while hazard trees are cut long the road.
Allowing the fire to move across the landscape and consume forest fuels will help protect vital infrastructure and homes in the area from severe wildfires, creating a buffer between dense forest and communities. These types of fires do not have a planned end date, but fire personnel follow a specific process called Wildland Fire Decision Support System that helps guide and document wildfire decisions, as well as provides the information needed for decision makers to develop effective strategies and tactics in working with a wildfire.
Firefighters are restricting fire activity to a planning area of approximately 17,900 acres where the fire may run its natural course. This does not mean the fire will move across the entire planning area, as specific edges of a fire may be suppressed to protect public safety, private property, cultural sites, major transmission power lines, trailheads, dispersed camping sites, and more. Additionally, some areas may not naturally burn, and precipitation may extinguish the Coldwater Fire at any time, which would bring the fire to a conclusion.
May 30, 2019 at approximately 6:50 a.m.
Approximately 4 miles south of Clints Well (Latitude/Longitude: 34.492, -111.302)
2,273 acres in a 17,900 acre planning area.
Air attack with helicopter, two Hotshot crews, one fuels crew, and six engines. Total personnel: approximately 100.
Predicted smoke impacts
Expect increased smoke production over the next few days, with the most significant impacts in the Clint Wells area, including Sunrise Resort and Happy Jack Lodge. The communities within the Blue Ridge area and as far south as Payson will also be effected with smoke at times. Camp Verde may also experience smoke impacts, to a lesser degree, as smoke drains during evening hours. Firefighter, public safety, and ecosystem health remain the top priorities for fire managers while keeping the fire within the planning area. Smoke may appear thicker at times due to burnout operations or as the wildfire consumes larger trees. This is normal.
None currently, but a closure around the fire area is anticipated soon. Additionally, there may be times when ADOT personnel will be closing sections of Route 87 at small intervals while hazard trees are cut along the road.
Recent and current operations
Wildland firefighting crews are conducting burnout operations to ensure it remains in the planning area. Current operations are taking place along Forest Road 141, and hazardous tree removal is also taking place along Route 87.
Thanks for the update Dixie Flyer. I was thinking of hiking Pine Canyon #26 (from north to south) and wondered what the smoke cover was like. Looks like winds from the south, so I might be able to swing it. I just hate the thought of coming back up those switchbacks and inhaling a ton of smoke!DixieFlyer wrote:I drove through Payson Tuesday morning and the air was thick with smoke from the fire. I came back through Payson Wednesday afternoon and the air was clear with no signs of smoke -- hopefully it will stay that way.
CLINTS WELL, Ariz., June 7, 2019 - Travelers should prepare for and expect long delays and intermittent closures along state Route 87 from June 10-12 due the Coldwater Fire.
Firefighters working on the fire are planning to introduce low-intensity fire to areas adjacent to Route 87 between Route 260 and Lake Mary Road, beginning Monday. There will be intermittent highway closures to help ensure firefighter and public safety, so motorists should expect long delays.
The planned burnout operations will also cause smoke impacts in northern Arizona. Forecasted winds are expected to be favorable, but smoke can be expected to be heavy at times and obscure sections of Route 87 during burning operations.
As temperatures drop in the evening, smoke will settle into areas along Route 87 and Lake Mary Road near the Clints Well area. Smoke will also settle overnight south of the Mogollon Rim in areas such as Strawberry, Pine, Payson, and the Verde Valley
CannondaleKid wrote: ↑Jun 07 2019 11:02 am@joebartels
We rented a cabin in Strawberry next week so that is the last thing we wanted to hear.
After we bailed on the AZT 27 backpack due to smoke, we almost canceled the rental soon enough for a full refund. Instead we gambled some rain would help out, only for the FS to add more to the smoke.
nonot wrote:Shouldn't impact Strawberry...winds generally blow from the south and west.
Smoke will also settle overnight south of the Mogollon Rim in areas such as Strawberry, Pine, Payson, and the Verde Valley
The Rim Road (FR300) is not presently closed for driving access, correct?toddak wrote:All the forest roads on the east side of Highway 87 were blocked or posted "keep out", but all the roads on the west side looked to be open.
As I drove by I got a quick look at two official-looking trucks parked in the road, it appeared that they may have been controlling access. Not sure though.Grasshopper wrote:The Rim Road (FR300) is not presently closed for driving access, correct?
Yes, and thanks for confirming.. I just need to access FR300 this week for my 16 mile drive the rim.. It's past time for me to "Get out of Dodge" again!BiFrost wrote:FR 300 itself was not closed but many of the FR roads going north away from the rim were closed along with trails.