2022 Fire Season

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azbackpackr
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2022 Fire Season

Post by azbackpackr »

Well, here we go...

A fire out past Doney Park, northeast of Flagstaff, is fairly close to where I spend my summers. I was going to move my car there tomorrow. But I guess I won't be moving it there just yet. I'll park it somewhere else.

And... a friend and I were going to start a little bicycle tour over by Prescott, on Thursday. But part of our route is under a closure, due to the Crooks fire.
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Re: 2022 Fire Season

Post by Alston_Neal »

@FOTG
FOTG? You sound familiar.
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Re: 2022 Fire Season

Post by Grimey »

The rains seem to have done the trick on the Fish fire.

Contreras fire burned over Kitt Peak. Appears a few structures lost but the telescopes are ok.
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Re: 2022 Fire Season

Post by FOTG »

@Grimey
Did you see any other updates on the Fish Fire, or are you using that Viirs page? It’s been at 3700 acres for a day now, just curious. Thanks. I am going to head that way tomorrow for a week with the pups, so will get a first hand account soon enough I guess.
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Re: 2022 Fire Season

Post by Grimey »

@FOTG

I'm going off of MODIS/VIIRS, there hasn't been any detected activity for a day.
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Re: 2022 Fire Season

Post by FOTG »

@Grimey Oh that’s great to hear. Thank you. Imagine that a naturally started fire, did exactly what it was suppose to do and went out with the first rains, textbook, lol.
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Re: 2022 Fire Season

Post by 00blackout »

@FOTG
There are zero not spots detected yesterday and today. The rain must have killed it fortunately.
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Re: 2022 Fire Season

Post by Hytsmjn »

When planning a backpack trip, what’s the bare minimum distance from a fire that you’d consider heading into? I imagine it depends on the size of the fire and wind conditions etc, but as a general rule, what would you consider is too close for comfort?
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Re: 2022 Fire Season

Post by AugustWest »

@Hytsmjn
Depends on how you would like to be cooked. I believe medium rare dictates a minimum distance of 15 miles....
Seriously though, I came too close for comfort in 1994 backpacking in the North Cascades during the Hatchery Complex fires. My last morning found the lake basin I was camped in full of smoke. We met a mounted backcountry ranger on our hasty retreat down the trail who informed my group of the gravity of the situation. We had no idea walking in 5 days prior that we were in any danger. Fire behavior defies logic and reason. If you have any reason to believe that their is the potential to be in the area of a fire then use common sense and stay away.
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Re: 2022 Fire Season

Post by xsproutx »

It truly depends on the fire location, winds, weather, terrain, etc. There would be situations where 5 miles wouldn't bug me at all and situations where 20 would give me pause. I've been within a few miles of one before but it was on the otherside of a ridge with the wind blowing away and I barely even noticed it. Another was similar to AugustWest where I was probably 20 miles away but was in a basin + the smoke was blowing toward us. It got trapped in said basin and was hard to breathe; bad enough that we broke camp in the middle of the night to hike across the pass to get out of it. Simultaneously one of the best and worst trips I've had!
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Re: 2022 Fire Season

Post by big_load »

15 years ago, I started a planned 10-day trip within 20 miles of a fire, which felt safe because of the wind and terrain. A new fire started near the end while we were out, and we cut the trip at 7 days, finishing about 15 miles from the new fire. The wind and terrain weren't so much in our favor with the new fire. With the whole western US as dry as it has been since then, I'd prefer not to be even that close.
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Re: 2022 Fire Season

Post by nonot »

It depends on the size and severity of fire, as well as the stability of weather conditions and mode of travel. I've backpacked and rafted through areas of forest that are actively burning where I could go off trail a dozen yards and touch flames if I wanted to. In other cases I'd not get closer than 80 miles away or more if there are large crown fires burning in volatile wind conditions, especially during a multiday trip where the wildfire would be moving towards you.

I don't believe there is a general rule, except that if the forest service does close an area due to an active fire, obey the published restrictions. These restrictions are generally made based on assessments of the danger from boots on the ground, and I tend to believe that the people making those decisions have more experience in the matter than any random internet advice. Also I'd suggest anyone near a wildfire pay attention and use their senses. If you observe smoke conditions change or wind shift directions where it changes to push the fire towards you unexpectedly, it can be best to get out of dodge as fast as possible and abort the rest of your trip, even if it means packing up and hiking through the night rather than sleeping.

It also depends on health conditions- if you or anyone in your group have asthma and can't tolerate smoke - stay far away.
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Re: 2022 Fire Season

Post by ShatteredArm »

Sometimes you can't predict it. A couple years ago I was in the Gila Wilderness, the Cub Fire actually started while I was out there (I heard the lightning strike that probably started it). My route took me right through the area it burned, so if I had started the trip a couple days later I might have gotten stuck on the opposite side of the fire from my vehicle.

I generally don't do any backpacking trip anywhere near an active fire, though.
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Re: 2022 Fire Season

Post by xsproutx »

nonot wrote:I could go off trail a dozen yards and touch flames if I wanted to.
I thought I was generally pretty laissez faire about these sorts of things but that one takes the cake a bit... I guess if you're rafting, there really might not be any other option other than just to power on through sometimes, though
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Re: 2022 Fire Season

Post by RedRoxx44 »

To this day I regret not being more proactive on the small Oak Fire in the Galiuros' as it really screwed up the area near Kennedy Peak. I walked past the fire fighters grouping up near the cabin at Deer creek and walked out among the small areas burning. If I'd had a shovel I could have put out a lot of the small islands burning in that area. Of course more fire was burning on the side of China Peak I did not see. I believe they wanted it to burn, and prosecuted that fire as such to clear scrub etc. Tall pines are not the norm in that range and they sacrificed the small grove on the side of the peak. The damage from post fire flooding really messed up Coral canyon and others. I believe if it had a natural progression there was no way the area I walked would have gone on to Kennedy peak.
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Re: 2022 Fire Season

Post by johnny88 »

Apache-Sitgreaves seems confident in people exercising good judgement:
The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests will rescind all fire restrictions on Friday, June 24th at 6:00am.
Increased amounts of rain in recent weeks and cooler temperatures have combined to reduce the fire risk. Although reduced, wildfire risk remains. Avoid using campfires if conditions are dry, hot, or a safe location is not available. If you decide to have a campfire, be sure to drown, stir, and feel the ash to be sure all heat is gone. It is illegal to leave a campfire unattended or use fireworks on National Forest land.
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Re: 2022 Fire Season

Post by azbackpackr »

@johnny88
Oh, here we go again. Glad to hear there's been some rain, though.
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Re: 2022 Fire Season

Post by MtnGeek »

These fires north of Flagstaff hit near where I grew up. It’s been bothersome looking at Shultz Peak when I go back there to visit. Growing up with beautiful forests covering the peaks now burnt up pines. My parents had to deal with the floods and luckily the floods didn’t hit their house.
Now over 10 years later it happened again and a month later again. I’m really not looking forward to driving through that area seeing Doyle and Fremont along with O’Leary burnt up. It’s heartbreaking to see the area I grew up go up in smoke. However I’m glad that all my neighbors still have their houses after 2 horrible fires. I lived in one of the neighborhoods that was across Highway 89 that didn’t get any damage from the Tunnel Fire.
My mom no longer lives in this area but I still see it as home even 20 years after moving out of Flagstaff.
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Re: 2022 Fire Season

Post by hikeaz »

Coconino and Kaibab National Forests and the City of Flagstaff will remove all fire restrictions effective today, June 28, 2022 at 12:00pm.
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Re: 2022 Fire Season

Post by azbackpackr »

@hikeaz
Thanks for the info. I would have found out one way or the other but it does make a difference to me.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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Re: 2022 Fire Season

Post by hikeaz »

azbackpackr wrote:Thanks for the info.
Apache Sitgreaves is also on board as of last week.
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