On March 7 at 4:11 p.m., Ponderosa Fire District received a call from a resident reporting she could see heavy flames and smoke south of Interstate 40 near the A-1 Mountain Road exit and Soggy Bottom Ranch Road near Bellemont.
Engine 821, Water Tender 82, Utility 82, and Chief 81 were dispatched. As units responded from Station 82 in Bellemont, they could see flames and smoke in the trees west of the Naval Observatory. Mutual aid was requested from Camp Navajo Fire Department for their Type 3 wildland engine. Once on scene, units found a large 50 x 50 foot slash pile fully engulfed. The Incident Command requested Coconino County Sheriffs Office (CCSO) and Forest Service Law Enforcement for investigation resources.
Units began initial fire attack until containment was determined. Because of the remote location, rugged terrain and limited accessibility to get water on the fire, the decision was made to let the pile burn out.
The incident was turned over to Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management who will be managing the fire for the next several days.