Wild Horse Fire grows to 283 acres

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Moderate activity continued Wednesday on the Wild Horse Fire, 16 miles northeast of Williams on the Kaibab National Forest. The lightning-caused fire is estimated at 283 acres.

On Wednesday, personnel initiated fire along forest roads to the east to slow fire progression during the peak burning period. Early this morning, managers will initiate aerial ignitions northeast of the active perimeter to produce a backing fire off Bull Basin Mesa.

Resources assigned to the incident include an Arizona State Forestry Fire Crew, a Wildland Fire Module, one Kaibab engine, one helicopter and several operational personnel.

Smoke may be visible from various areas including portions of Interstate 40, Highway 180 and forest roads in the area. The Wild Horse Fire is burning in close proximity to the Red Fire, which is on the Coconino National Forest, just three miles northwest near Red Mountain.

Fire managers are coordinating with Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to gather air quality data and monitor smoke production on this incident. Plans are in place to install air quality monitoring equipment southwest of the fire vicinity in Spring Valley and to the southeast at Fire Station 36 in Baderville.

When the Wild Horse Fire started last week, it was placed in monitor status. Upon further evaluation, officials decided the fire could benefit the landscape and meet resource objectives. Objectives for the incident include returning fire to a fire-dependent ecosystem, protecting and improving range improvements and wildlife habitat and managing smoke production.

Officials have developed a proposed management area for the incident that encompasses approximately 17,700 acres. Within the defined boundary, management action points have been identified where personnel will take measures to slow, redirect or enhance fire progression. Managers will evaluate the fire's progression and fire effects regularly, and change strategy as necessary, to ensure the incident objectives are being met.

A weather trend toward slightly drier and warmer conditions with the potential for afternoon thunderstorms is in the forecast through this week. Fire activity will likely increase given the existing weather pattern.

For additional information, visit the Inciweb at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/1764/.

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