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Sun, May 31

Burnout operations on Whiskey Fire producing heavy smoke

The Whiskey Fire, caused by lightning, is being managed on Coconino National Forest. (USFS/photo)

The Whiskey Fire, caused by lightning, is being managed on Coconino National Forest. (USFS/photo)

COCONINO NATIONAL FOREST, Ariz. – Smoke settled into Williams, Flagstaff, Sedona and west toward Kingman last night as the Whiskey Fire grew to 3,500 acres. Firefighters conducted firing operations the USFS said were vital to secure fire containment lines.

The fire is being managed for forest restoration purposes.

The forest service expected typical southwest winds to push the smoke north, however, a northeast wind has pushed smoke the opposite direction, the forest service said on Twitter.

They expect smoke to life mid-day or early afternoon as temperatures rise.

The fire is located eight miles west of Turkey Butte Lookout, southwest of Flagstaff. The fire began from a lightning strike Sept. 2

Fire personnel plan to moderate firing operations through the weekend to reduce smoke impacts to the area, a USFS press release stated. “However, no perfect weather conditions exist to remove smoke impact entirely from a fire,” they said.

Forest Road 231 is closed at the intersection of FR 536 near Phone Booth Tank to the intersection of FR 231A. An alternate route is at Phone Booth Tank. Follow FR 538 west to FR 538D, to FR 231A to reconnect to FR 231 south of the fire area.

According to the news release, the closure may last through the weekend to provide for firefighter and public safety.

“Persons planning to travel in this area should expect delays and use the alternate routes identified at closure points,” the release stated. "We do apologize for the smoke impacts to the area."

Information provided by Coconino National Forest

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