Seeing smoke? Four wildland fires continue to burn
Four wildfires were burning on lands surrounding Prescott and northern Arizona on Tuesday, Aug. 4. They range from 12 acres northwest of the city to another at more than 3,500 acres toward Williams.
Following is a roundup:
A fire in the 1300 block of North Walking Y Lane in Williamson Valley required help from several agencies to get under control Tuesday afternoon, and threatened a home and two large barns.
About 1:45 p.m., a permitted burn "got away from" a homeowner, Williamson Valley-Bagdad Fire Chief Bryan Smith said, and once that happened, "they weren't going to be able to stop it."
About 12 acres burned before firefighters could get the fire under control.
The fire came within feet of the structures, Smith said, but there was good defensible space around them, which slowed the fire's progress.
"This area out here, the Long Meadow Ranch area, just recently became a Firewise Community, and it sure did pay off," Smith said. "It really slowed things down for us so we were able to get in there and put a stop on it."
At one point, flames were reported to be over 9 feet high.
Central Yavapai, Chino Valley and U.S. Forest Service firefighters responded to assist, Smith said.
The SA Hill fire, ignited by a lightning strike Sunday, Aug. 2, has grown to 800 acres and still is not contained, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Debbie Maneely said Tuesday.
It's burning about 3 miles northwest of Cleator in rocky terrain with limited access, Maneely said, and the fire grew because of the dry conditions.
The fire is moving to the north, but it's still about 5 miles southwest of Mayer.
"Firefighters will continue to hold and improve line on the south end of the fire and continue to scout the north and west sides for containment options," Maneely said. "Fire managers are looking at the possibility of using management ignitions along perimeter roads to reinforce boundaries established for the fire if needed."
About 100 people are working the fire with a helicopter, an air attack plane, and six fire engines.
The Springs fire has been allowed to burn since July about 9 miles southeast of Williams, near Davenport Knoll and Summit Mountain in the Kaibab National Forest, and has covered 3,566 acres.
Spokeswoman Leslie Reed said people could expect to see more smoke due to drier conditions and movement of the fire.
"Fire personnel completed preparations near the junction of Forest Road 110 and Forest 147, on the east side of Summit Mountain, to meet fire objectives, working to keep the fire within the management area and improve forest health," she said.
Crews have been doing burnout operations along County Road 73 (Perkinsville Road), to keep the fire on the west side of the road and protect private land.
The Echo fire, now contained at 1,954 acres, is still making smoke in the Coconino National Forest west of Flagstaff. Spokesman Brady Smith said, "The fire accomplished multiple objectives, reducing hazardous fuels, restoring forest health and burning dead logs, branches, needles and leaves."
Lightning touched off the Echo fire on July 17. Smith said that "only small internal pockets (are) still burning and smoldering.
"The location of the fire was an important strategic area for reducing fire danger and providing a point of protection for the city of Flagstaff, as the fire tied in a large swath of area that included last year's Slide fire and the Taylor fire of 2009."
Follow Scott Orr on Twitter @AZNewsguy. Call him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2038 or 928-642-7705.