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Fri, April 03

Marteen Wildland Fire still alive
Fire approaches 11,000 acres

The Marteen Wildland Fire Use (WFU) continues to smolder and creep through ponderosa pine, pinyon juniper and grass about 15 miles northeast of Williams. Monitors report the fire is approximately 10,788 acres and producing little smoke.

Current activity is primarily in the Wildcat Hill area on the west side of the fire. Managers expect the fire to continue to burn slowly and creep around as long as conditions remain dry.

The lightning caused fire began Aug. 7 and grew at a steady pace for weeks, moving north and south along Spring Valley Wash. It expanded to 700 acres before the monsoon rains arrived. Plentiful precipitation stopped fire activity for over a month. Then, on Oct. 15, personnel reported renewed fire activity.

"When the Marteen Fire came back to life, we evaluated the fire's potential benefits and possible risks before we decided it was appropriate to continue to manage it for resource benefits. Each time we can manage a fire in an area of the forest that has gone too long without this natural disturbance, we are meeting our land management responsibilities to improve forest health and protect communities," said Martie Schramm, Williams District Ranger.

Since the Marteen WFU began in August, personnel have actively managed the fire within an 18,000-acre area. As fire moved close to pre-determined locations, personnel took management actions to stop, redirect or slow fire spread. These actions included protecting cultural and heritage sites, preventing rapid upslope fire funs on nearby mountains and keeping fire from spreading onto private property.

The fire will likely go out on its own when it receives significant moisture. However, this may be awhile since there is no indication of precipitation in the general forecast.

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