Sheridan Fire update: Forest expands fire area closure
Humidity expected to diminish fire activity, smoke
Though the Sheridan fire will continue to be influenced by unseasonably hot, windy and dry conditions, forest officials are saying an increase in humidity will diminish the surge in fire activity and area smoke that occurred Wednesday, Aug. 21.
That surge doubled the size of the fire – now at 9,448 acres – and pushed the blaze north of Camp Wood Road, forcing forest officials to expand the Fire Area Closure south of Walnut Creek Road. The closure includes implementing barricades staffed by security, according to a Prescott National Forest (PNF) news release Friday.
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.
About 184 personnel, including nine engines, two water tenders, two hand crews and two helicopters, are working the blaze, PNF reported in the release. '
Thick overgrown chaparral is the predominant fuel burning. Its fire behavior is highly influenced by wind, terrain, and enhanced by the dry conditions. This brush type burns hot and fast, producing thick black smoke. While the smoke over the fire is expected to decrease, 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.
While the amount of smoke from the Sheridan Fire is anticipated to decrease, it could still be visible Friday within the Quad-cities.
Diminished smoke may 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, forest officials recommend that the public plan activities during the earlier part of the day. For those more sensitive to smoke, they also recommend staying indoors with windows and doors closed and bringing pets inside.
Information provided by the Prescott National Forest.