Update: YCSO places Bill Gray Road, Forest Road 525, Forest Road 152c in 'Set' evacuation status
Paulden removed from 'ready' evac status; Prescott National Forest to close Friday
Updated as of Wednesday, June 23, 2021 4:10 PM
UPDATE, 4 p.m.:
Working with fire incident command on the Rafael Fire, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office has made the decision to place the areas off Bill Gray Road, Forest Road 525, and Forest Road 152c north of Highway 89A in ”Set” evacuation status.
The areas north of Highway 89A in West Sedona and north of Highway 89A in Uptown Sedona have been placed on “Ready” status, the YCSO stated this afternoon.
"There is no immediate threat to these areas but based on the fire’s location, fire behavior and possible weather impacts on the fire you should follow the guidance below," the YCSO reported.
Several ranches at the end of Forest Service Road 525 are already in “Go” status, as of the evening hours of June 22.
The YCSO, Sedona Police Department, Sedona Fire District and the Rafael Fire Incident Management Team are working in close collaboration to manage this incident. The decision to change evacuation statuses and for which areas are made carefully and based on many factors with input from all partners. YCSO has assigned a liaison to the Rafael Fire Incident Management Team and should the need arise to move to a “Set” or “Go” status, notifications will be sent out via the Code Red system and on the YCSO Facebook page.
Please make sure you sign up for Code Red at https://www.ycsoaz.gov/community/Emergency-Preparedness/Emergency-Notification-System?fbclid=IwAR2SmJW8oXlNMV75h6kCpXfn8Mrhc7sU-msY8hc6pN1jCXLJkMilmvi6VvQ if you live in Coconino County please click sign up at https://www.smart911.com/smart911/login.action?lpse=1.
“Ready” status means you are aware of and monitoring fire activity in your area. You should have basic plans in place for yourselves, important documents, medications, pets and livestock in the event that a “Go” message is received.
“Set” status means knowing there is significant danger in your area; residents should consider voluntarily relocating to a shelter or with family/friends outside the affected area. Residents should avoid close contact with those who are sick and should practice public health recommendations when relocating. Grab your emergency go-kit. Keep in mind unique needs for your family or special equipment for pets and livestock. Stay aware of the latest news and information from public safety and public health officials.
Sinagua High School in Flagstaff will be available as a shelter if needed, the YCSO stated. If large-scale evacuations become necessary a shelter will be established in the Cottonwood area.
Learn more at https://ein.az.gov/ready-set-go and at ready.gov.
Follow the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Sedona Government Page, and the Coconino National Forest for updates. Current fire information can also be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7567/.
The Prescott National Forest's update for Wednesday morning, as of 8 a.m., shows some containment of wildfires in Yavapai County.
The six fires being managed by the Arizona Central West Zone Type 3 Incident Management team are the following [from north to south - all acreages are approximate and current as of June 22 at 8 p.m.]:
Rock Butte fires:
• Red Hat Fire - 49 acres, 85% containment;
• Limestone Fire - 33 acres, 67% containment;
• Spring Fire - 567 acres, 16% containment;
• Rock Butte Fire – 126 acres, 0% containment; and,
• Silent Fire - 27 acres, 0% containment.
Location: North of Paulden and west of Highway 89.
Size: 24,191 acres.
Location: 4 miles north of Perkinsville and near Sycamore Canyon.
Percent Containment: 0%
The PNF reported that "with fire management transitions we are establishing a new fire information phone number: 928-925-1111."
Variety of Tools Aid in Fire Management Tactics
Fire personnel were engaged in a variety of ways on the Rafael Fire Tuesday. Use of aircraft was effective in slowing the fire progression on the east and south side of the fire, the Prescott National Forest reported.
Both mechanical and hand prepping of control lines were strategically located to protect values at risk including fire lookouts, cultural resources, private property, and infrastructure.
The fire crossed Tule Canyon up to Sycamore Point. It also moved to the east crossing Sycamore Canyon up on to Casner Mountain. The Rafael Fire is moving north/northeast toward higher elevations and timber fuel types. Crews will continue to work on developing containment strategies and prepping potential control lines along roads and other features.
A change in the weather brings cooler overnight temperatures, increased relative humidity, and up to a 60% chance of precipitation. Along with these benefits, the thunderstorms also bring the possibility of more lightning and gusty winds.
On the Rock Butte fires, considerable progress was made on all five of the fires such that fire managers felt comfortable removing the “Ready” status for the residents of Paulden. Fire managers will continue to monitor how the change in the weather may affect these fires.
Rock Butte Fires Update: Removed “Ready” status for Paulden.
For the Rafael Fire, visit the Coconino County Emergency Management website for current status on communities in Coconino County.
WEATHER: Thunderstorms are expected with lower overnight temps, gusty winds, and possible lightning. Up to 60% chance of precipitation. Day time temps 81-85. Relative humidity 27-29%.
CLOSURES: Starting Wednesday, the Kaibab and Coconino National forests will be implementing full forest closures. The Apache-Sitgreaves will implement a full forest closure on Thursday. Prescott National Forest will implement a full forest closure on Friday.
Also on Friday, the Tonto National Forest will Implement a Stage 3 Forest Closure with some lakes, roads and recreation areas that will remain accessible.
FIRE RESTRICTIONS: Stage 2 Fire Restrictions remain in effect on the Prescott NF.
For fire restriction information around Arizona, visit: https://wildlandfire.az.gov/fire-restrictions.
Information provided by the Prescott National Forest.