Coldwater Fire - Mogollon Rim Ranger District

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Nighthiker
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Coldwater Fire - Mogollon Rim Ranger District

Post by Nighthiker » Jun 03 2019 7:14 pm

Apx. Four miles South of Clint's Well (Also know as Happy Jack)and apx. 475 acres. Big smoke plum late this afternoon.
Last edited by joebartels on Jun 04 2019 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Corrected Cold Spring to Coldwater
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Re: Cold Springs Fire

Post by CannondaleKid » Jun 03 2019 7:29 pm

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Re: Coldwater Fire

Post by joebartels » Jun 04 2019 12:59 pm

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.
Discovery date
May 30, 2019 at approximately 6:50 a.m.

Cause
Lightning

Origin location
Approximately 4 miles south of Clints Well (Latitude/Longitude: 34.492, -111.302)

Current size
2,273 acres in a 17,900 acre planning area.

Current resources
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.

Current closures
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.
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Re: Coldwater Fire - Mogollon Rim Ranger District

Post by CannondaleKid » Jun 04 2019 1:35 pm

In other words, don't be planning a hike on AZT #27 for a while... which we found out first-hand today. ](*,)

Months ago Tracey had planned another 3-day backpack, hiking on AZT #27 from Forest Road 751 South, exiting by Pine.

However, just north of Mt Ord the skies were smoke-filled from horizon-to-horizon, which at first I thought may have been from the Mill Fire south of Prescott, or the prescribed burn near Young, so although we knew about the '475-acre' fire south of Clint's Well, we kept going. But north of Strawberry it was quite obvious the backpack most likely would be over before starting.

When we arrived at the planned start on FR 751, we decided to hike the 3/4 mile south to a point just before the descent to West Clear Creek to get a better idea of the conditions. It was smoke as far as the eye could see, already it was hard to breathe and we all had the beginning of headaches, so that put the lid on any hopes.

So, after all the planning, packing and the 250 mile drive, all we had to show for it was a 1.5 mile hike. :doh:
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Re: Coldwater Fire - Mogollon Rim Ranger District

Post by DixieFlyer » Jun 06 2019 5:30 am

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.

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Re: Coldwater Fire - Mogollon Rim Ranger District

Post by BunsbertMontcroff » Jun 07 2019 7:29 am

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.
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!

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Re: Coldwater Fire - Mogollon Rim Ranger District

Post by joebartels » Jun 07 2019 9:30 am

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
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Re: Coldwater Fire - Mogollon Rim Ranger District

Post by CannondaleKid » 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. :doh:
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Re: Coldwater Fire - Mogollon Rim Ranger District

Post by nonot » Jun 07 2019 4:58 pm

"adjacent to Route 87 between Route 260 and Lake Mary Road"

Shouldn't impact Strawberry...winds generally blow from the south and west.
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. :doh:
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Re: Coldwater Fire - Mogollon Rim Ranger District

Post by chumley » Jun 07 2019 5:37 pm

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
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Re: Coldwater Fire - Mogollon Rim Ranger District

Post by CannondaleKid » Jun 07 2019 8:51 pm

@chumley Yup... that was my concern
@nonot Ya gotta admit, reading the whole article brings out the full context. :doh:
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Re: Coldwater Fire - Mogollon Rim Ranger District

Post by nonot » Jun 07 2019 9:41 pm

:o Renting a cabin for a romantic night with Mrs. CannondaleKid, and your plans for the night are to be outside watching the smoke settle? ](*,)

Enjoy your trip!
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Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
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Re: Coldwater Fire - Mogollon Rim Ranger District

Post by CannondaleKid » Jun 08 2019 10:40 am

@nonot
Unfortunately, all but one of the hikes we planned are in the area expected to be impacted by the planned burnouts.
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Re: Coldwater Fire - Mogollon Rim Ranger District

Post by toddak » Jun 08 2019 10:11 pm

Hiked a ways down Clover Creek this afternoon, which is a short distance west of the fire. The huge smoke plume was clearly visible to the NE but there was no smell of smoke at all, so the prevailing winds must be in that direction. 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.

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Re: Coldwater Fire - Mogollon Rim Ranger District

Post by Grasshopper » Jun 09 2019 6:57 am

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.
The Rim Road (FR300) is not presently closed for driving access, correct?
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Re: Coldwater Fire - Mogollon Rim Ranger District

Post by Grasshopper » Jun 09 2019 12:03 pm

Grasshopper wrote:
Jun 09 2019 6:57 am
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.
The Rim Road (FR300) is not presently closed for driving access, correct?

MRRD Press Release UPDATES (copied/pasted segments) at 6/9/19:
Current closures: 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 state Route 87 or using pilot car for reduced visibility.
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 continued preparation for burn out operations Monday on state Route 87.
Coldwater Fire-MRRD-MapUpdte-6-9-19.pdf
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Re: Coldwater Fire - Mogollon Rim Ranger District

Post by toddak » Jun 09 2019 1:00 pm

Grasshopper wrote:The Rim Road (FR300) is not presently closed for driving access, correct?
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.

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Re: Coldwater Fire - Mogollon Rim Ranger District

Post by chumley » Jun 10 2019 6:33 pm

@Grasshopper
Check with @bifrost
Sounds closed to me.
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Re: Coldwater Fire - Mogollon Rim Ranger District

Post by BiFrost » Jun 11 2019 8:37 am

@chumley @Grasshopper
FR 300 itself was not closed but many of the FR roads going north away from the rim were closed along with trails. Most impacted area is south and west of Blue Ridge Reservoir.

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Re: Coldwater Fire - Mogollon Rim Ranger District

Post by Grasshopper » Jun 11 2019 9:56 am

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.
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! :sweat:
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