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Mon, March 30

Marteen fire out
Cooler temperatures, precipitation halts activity

Managers on the Kaibab National Forest announced today that after almost four months the Marteen Wildland Fire Use (WFU) is out. Significant precipitation in addition to cold, short nights has stopped activity. The final size of the incident was 10,788 acres; the total cost to manage the incident was $100,765.

The fire started Aug. 7 by lightning. Forest officials initially decided to manage the incident under a confinement strategy. After a week of growth, evaluation and assessment officials shifted the fire from confinement status to management for resource benefits. The change in strategy was authorized under the guidelines of a pilot program that the Kaibab National Forest participated in this season. The pilot program tested proposed modifications to the Wildland Fire Management Policy, 2003.

Situated within an 18,000-acre working boundary 15 miles northeast of Williams, the Marteen WFU spread through ponderosa pine, pinion juniper and grass, successfully meeting resource managers' goals. These goals included reducing hazardous fuel buildup, increasing plant diversity and allowing fire to resume its role in a fire-adapted ecosystem. As fire reached specific locations, personnel took actions to slow, stop or redirect fire spread. Some of the actions implemented involved protecting cultural and heritage resources, preventing rapid upslope runs on surrounding mountains and keeping fire from spreading onto private property.

"We appreciate the public's patience and willingness to understand that wildland fire use management is one of the tools that managers will continue to use to achieve resource benefits, protect communities and improve forest health," said Martie Schramm, Williams District Ranger.

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