WILLIAMS, Ariz. - The Cross Fire on the Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest has grown to 800 acres and is achieving positive results on the landscape, according to Forest Service officials. The fire, which was started by lightning June 30, is located about 18 miles south southeast of Williams near Bar Cross Tank and is being managed to meet resource objectives.
Today, fire personnel will continue blacklining operations along pre-established perimeter roads. During blacklining operations, firefighters burn fuels along designated boundaries in order to limit the fire's growth in those directions.
Specifically, fire personnel plan to use both hand (drip torches) and aerial (helicopter) ignition techniques to blackline from Saginaw Tank, which is on the northeast side of the fire, northwest along Forest Road 127 to its intersection with Forest Road 105.
Yesterday, smoke from the Cross Fire moved into the drainages of Sycamore Canyon and eventually made its way to Flagstaff. However, depending on wind speed and direction, smoke could be noticeable anywhere from along Interstate 40 between Williams and Flagstaff to communities south of the fire such as Prescott and the Verde Valley.
"Smoke management is a high priority on this fire," said Williams District Ranger Martie Schramm. "Because the drainages of Sycamore Canyon can filter smoke in many different directions and toward various communities, we have to be especially aware of the impacts we are having."
About 55 fire personnel are assigned to the Cross Fire. Resources include the Kaibab fuels crew, three Kaibab engines, a Kaibab dozer, the Kaibab helitack crew, a Coconino National Forest engine, the Flagstaff Hotshots, and the Saguaro Fire Use Module.
As the Cross Fire burns through the forest understory and accumulations of forest debris, it is helping to re-establish the ecological role of fire, promote forest health, and reduce the future risk of large, destructive wildfires.
There are no closures associated with the Cross Fire. However, visitors should use caution when traveling in the area and should watch for firefighting vehicles and personnel.
For additional information on the Cross Fire, please visit www.inciweb.org/incident/1717/ or contact Jackie Banks at (928) 635-8314.