Update: Sheridan Fire roars to 8,500-plus acres, doubling in size
The Sheridan Fire, influenced by unseasonably hot, windy and dry conditions, made a push northward, more than doubling in size to an estimated 8,594 acres, according to a Prescott National Forest Service press release Thursday afternoon.
The preparations made by firefighters to reduce vegetation adjacent to the Camp Wood Road were critically important to slowing the forward momentum of the fire-front. The fire did spot over the Camp Wood Road, at the junction of Forest Road 95, initiating a full closure of the Camp Wood Road within the Forest Boundary.
Forest official are looking to expand the Fire Area Closure to include area north of the Camp Wood Road.
The Sheridan Fire burns 23 miles northwest of Prescott in the Chino Valley District. It began Aug. 5 due to a lightning strike and is currently 0% contained.
According to a Prescott National Forest release, 150 personnel, including seven engines, two water tenders, two hand crews and two helicopters, are working the blaze.
Thick overgrown chaparral is the predominant fuel burning. Its fire behavior is highly influenced by wind and enhanced by the dry conditions. This brush type burns hot and fast, producing thick black smoke. The smoke effects to area communities is being closely monitored.
The fire continues to be allowed to fulfill its natural role while firefighters continue to provide for point protection of cultural and natural resources. Utilizing the lightning-caused fire for resource benefit will improve wildlife habitat and restore more open forest understory with grasses and forbs.
There are no homes or structures threatened.
The current closure order remains in effect over the fire area south of the Camp Wood Road. Fire operations have forced the closure of the Camp Wood Road within the Forest Boundary. The forest is currently working on expanding the closure area to include area north of the Camp Wood Road.
Smoke from the Sheridan Fire will continued to be visible from Prescott, Chino Valley and Williamson Valley during mid-afternoon and into the evening hours, extending as far north as Paulden, Ash Fork and Williams, relative to the predominant wind direction. Incident specific smoke monitors are in place north of the fire area to monitor area impacts.
With smoke impacts continuing to be expected, we recommend that the public plan activities during the earlier part of the day. For those more sensitive to smoke, we also recommend staying indoors with windows and doors closed and bringing pets inside.
Information provided by the Prescott National Forest Service.