Sheridan Fire spreading; command changes, smoke visible
Management of the Sheridan Fire transitioned to the Arizona Central West Zone Type 3 Incident Management Team on Saturday, Aug. 17, according to a news release from the Prescott National Forest.
The fire continues to move steadily across the landscape in a remote and rural area south of the Camp Wood Road, and northwest of Willow Spring in the Sheridan Mountain area. There are no homes or structures threatened.
The fire, started by lightning on Aug. 5, is burning about 23 miles northwest of Prescott. It has burned about 3,700 acres of Pinyon-Juniper, grass and brush, and is zero-percent contained.
A fire area closure order is in effect over the Sheridan Fire area, limiting access south of the Camp Wood Road, with only areas to the north of Camp Wood Road remaining open. County roads on the perimeter of the closure remain open, all Forest Service roads on the perimeter and interior will be closed.
Resources on the fire include approximately 60 personnel, three engines, one water tender, one hand crew, and one helicopter.
CURRENT SITUATION: Saturday, Aug. 17
Firefighters are continuing to use a helicopter and agency operated drones to monitor fire activity, as access to the immediate fire area is limited mostly because of rough and rugged terrain. Area roads, trails and natural barriers will be used as control features.
The Sheridan Fire is a lightning caused fire being monitored as it burns naturally across the landscape, the Forest Service stated. This fire is being allowed to play its natural role within the fire-adapted Ponderosa pine ecosystem.
There is a wide variety of vegetation densities on the fire which, along with terrain and weather, will influence fire behavior and effects. The desired result of the Sheridan Fire is a “mosaic” of fire effects.
Under the right conditions, fire helps break down nutrients and minerals in plants and other debris such as old logs and dense undergrowth and restores them to the soil. The process also effectively reduces fire intensity in the case of future ignitions in the area as well.
Smoke from the Sheridan Fire will continue to be very visible from Prescott and the tri-city area during mid-afternoon Saturday and into the evening hours, extending as far north of the general fire area relative to the predominant wind direction. Friday’s smoke was visible as far north as Ash Fork and Williams.
With smoke impacts continuing to be expected, the Forest Service officials recommend that the public plan activities during the earlier part of the day. For sensitive groups they also recommend staying indoors with windows and doors closed and bringing pets inside.
For more information, contact Prescott Fire Information at 928-925-1111; InciWeb, https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6522/; Prescott National Forest Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/PrescottNF/; and Prescott National Forest Twitter, https://twitter.com/PrescottNF.
Information provided by the Prescott National Forest.