8 a.m. update: Kendrick fire jumps northern containment line, Highway 180 remains closed

The Kendrick fire jumped the northern containment line near Highway 180, but still remains within the USFS planning area.

The Kendrick fire jumped the northern containment line near Highway 180, but still remains within the USFS planning area.

8 a.m. June 9 update:

Fire activity increased on the Boundary Fire yesterday afternoon due to strong, gusty and erratic winds. The fire grew beyond the initial northern containment line toward a section of Highway 180, which remains closed. However, the fire remained within the overall planning area and fire activity reduced significantly when it reached a previous prescribed burn unit – the Horseshoe Prescribed Fire, which was conducted in October 2016.

Fire crews were able to halt the progress to the north and will continue to strengthen containment lines today. In cooperation with the Arizona Department of Transportation, a section of Highway 180 was closed between mile post 236 and mile post 248 in anticipation of possible heavy smoke impacts overnight.

A 10-person type 2 crew successfully prepped the historic cabin and fire lookout tower on top of Kendrick Peak in advance of future fire activity. Structure protection efforts around private property, historic structures, archeological sites and other values at risk are ongoing in preparation for anticipated winds over the next few days. Given the increased complexity of the fire, a Type II incident management team has been ordered to help manage the wildfire and will arrive this afternoon.

For more information, details, and the specific objectives for the Boundary Fire, please visit inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5209/. Quick updates will also be provided via Twitter at @KaibabNF and @CoconinoNF. Please follow us if you would like to be updated as information is received.

Name: Boundary Fire

Reported: June 1

Cause: Lightning

Location: About 17 miles northwest of Flagstaff burning on Kendrick Mountain on the Flagstaff Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest; latitude 35̊ 25’54.9” longitude 111̊ 49’ 53.0”

Size: 1,550 acres

Fuels: The wildfire is burning in heavy dead and down trees and forest debris left from the Pumpkin Fire of 2000.

Resources: Three Interagency Hotshot Crews, one Type 2 hand crew, seven engines, two water tenders, two dozers, and miscellaneous overhead, totaling 165 personnel.

Expected Actions: Fire suppression activities for today include ongoing improvement of containment lines in preparation for the strong winds forecast over the next several days. Indirect suppression tactics and safety precautions continue to shape operational plans allowing the fire to move across the landscape as naturally as possible. A Red Flag Warning will be in effect throughout the day indicating potential for increased fire behavior.

Closures: A closure order is now in effect for the fire area. The closure boundary begins at the junction of Forest Road (FR) 171 and FR 193 on the Coconino NF. The boundary extends west onto the Kaibab NF on FR 171 to FR 144. On FR 144 the closure area travels north to FR 736. The closure proceeds east along FR 736 to FR 91. The boundary follows FR 91 to the forest boundary. From the forest boundary on FR 91, the closure extends northeast on the Coconino NF along FR 9023C to FR 9005 and along FR 9005 to State Highway 180. The closure extends south along State Highway 180 to the junction of FR 193 and then proceeds west along FR 193 to the junction of FR 171. All roads and trails within the perimeter will be closed to the public. With the exception of FR 91 on the Kaibab NF and FRs 9005 and 9023C on the Coconino NF, which will be barricaded and signed as closed, travel will be allowed on the other perimeter roads.

Trails: The following trails in the closure area are closed: Pumpkin Trail, Kendrick Mountain Trail, Bull Basin Trail, and the 4th Connector Trail.

Smoke Impacts: Smoke will be visible from Flagstaff, Highway 180, Baderville, Parks, Williams, Interstate 40, and the Grand Canyon. Smoke is predicted to impact the communities of Cameron and Tuba City during the day, and Spring Valley, Pumpkin Center, Parks and Baderville during the evening hours.

5 p.m. June 8 update:

Increased winds ahead of a cold front caused the Boundary Fire to spread northeast off of Kendrick Mountain toward Highway 180. The fire is still within the planning area for the Boundary Fire and is expected to remain west of Highway 180. Firefighters are implementing containment plans to slow fire spread.

Highway 180 will be closed between mileposts 236 and 248 by 5 p.m. this evening due to expected smoke impacts overnight. Fire managers, in coordination with Arizona Department of Transportation and the Arizona Department of Public Safety, will reassess the need for the closure of Highway 180 tomorrow morning.

For more information, details and the specific objectives for the Boundary Fire, please visit inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5209/. Quick updates will also be provided via Twitter at @KaibabNF and @CoconinoNF. Please follow us if you would like to be updated as information is received.

Original story June 7:

Fire personnel from the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests are responding jointly to a lightning-caused wildfire located on the northeast side of Kendrick Peak in Kendrick Mountain Wilderness.

A Type III Incident Management Team led by Incident Commander True Brown assumed command of the Boundary Fire at 6 a.m. June 7. The 380-acre Boundary Fire is currently burning on the Flagstaff Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest but is expected to move onto the Kaibab National Forest side of the boundary line within the next several days.

Fire managers have completed a Wildfire Decision Support System (WFDSS) analysis of the fire area to determine the course of action to suppress the Boundary Fire. This analysis identifies the planning area, values at risk, the incident objectives, and the courses of action, including the suppression strategy (or strategies) to be employed to safely and successfully manage a wildfire.

The WFDSS analysis indicates that the main fire suppression tactic to be employed on the Boundary Fire will be indirect suppression tactics. Indirect suppression tactics are firefighting actions that are not directly adjacent to the flaming front of a fire. Fire managers chose this suppression tactic because the wildfire is burning on steep slopes with heavy dead and down trees, snags (standing dead trees) and forest debris left from the Pumpkin Fire of 2000. These conditions are not safe for firefighters due to poor footing, falling snags and rocks, and the hampered ability to move quickly if a fire blowup occurs.

Firefighters will be working building and preparing firelines on road systems that surround the Kendrick Peak away from the actual fire. As conditions warrant, the firelines along roads will have firing operations to remove fuels between the fireline and the flaming front of the wildfire. This tactic is much safer than direct fireline construction in the steep, heavy down wood and snags that occur where the fire is currently burning. This action also allows firefighters to suppress the fire on firefighters’ terms, rather than the fire dictating a responsive action.

It is anticipated that the Boundary Fire will help clean up much of the dead and down material left by the Pumpkin Fire, thereby reducing the future probability of high-intensity wildfire and its potentially severe and negative fire effects.

Expected Actions: The overall strategy of the Boundary Fire is to use a mix of point protection, confine, monitor and suppression to safely contain the fire within the planning area. Boundary roads have been established for the wildfire around the base of Kendrick Mountain. The fire area has heavy accumulations of downed logs and standing dead trees that create safety issues for firefighters. The strategy will allow for fire personnel safety while also reducing the heavy amount of fuels remaining from previous fires and allowing fire to play its natural role within a fire-adapted ecosystem.

Closures: A closure order is currently being established for the fire area. Details regarding the closure area will be provided as soon as they are available.

Smoke Impacts: Smoke will be visible from Flagstaff, Baderville, Parks, Williams, Interstate 40, and the Grand Canyon. Smoke is predicted to impact the communities of Cameron and Tuba City during the day, and Spring Valley, Pumpkin Center, Parks and Baderville during the evening hours.

Additional information sources, including maps, will be provided as soon as they are available.

For more information, details and the specific objectives for the Boundary Fire, visit inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5209/. Quick updates will also be provided via Twitter at @KaibabNF and @CoconinoNF.

Name: Boundary Fire

Reported: June 1

Cause: Lightning

Location: About 17 miles northwest of Flagstaff burning on Kendrick Mountain on the Flagstaff Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest; latitude 35̊ 25’54.9” longitude 111̊ 49’ 53.0”

Size: 300 acres

Fuels: The wildfire is burning in heavy dead and down trees and forest debris left from the Pumpkin Fire of 2000.

Resources: Flagstaff and Mormon Lake hotshot crews, three engines, one dozer, a fuels crew, local fire prevention units and various support personnel; approximately 70 total fire personnel are currently assigned.

Comments

Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comment submissions may not exceed a 200 word limit, and in order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.