WILLIAMS, Ariz. - The Cross Fire on the Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest continues to grow and meet forest managers' resource objectives. It is 960 acres and is expected to continue growing.
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 such as re-establishing the ecological role of fire, promoting forest health, and reducing the future risk of large, destructive wildfires, according to Forest Service personnel.
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 along Forest Road 105 near Tule Tank. If aerial ignition is used, small containers - similar to ping-pong balls - are dropped from the helicopter onto the desired burn location. The balls ignite because of an internal chemical reaction created by the interaction of glycol and potassium permanganate.
This morning, smoke from the Cross Fire moved into Tule Wash, a side canyon of Sycamore. Some smoke also drifted in a northeasterly direction toward Kendrick Mountain. Because the drainages of Sycamore Canyon can filter smoke in many different directions and toward various communities, 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.
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.
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.