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Sun, Sept. 26

Rafael Fire 72 percent contained with rain in the forecast

Firefighters conduct burnout operations on the Rafael Fire June 27 along Forest Road 538. (Photo/Michelle Herrin)

Firefighters conduct burnout operations on the Rafael Fire June 27 along Forest Road 538. (Photo/Michelle Herrin)

WILLIAMS, Ariz. – The Rafael Fire is currently 78,709 acres and is 72 percent contained as of June 30.

On June 29, hand crews, with the aid of bucket drops from helicopters, worked in the Mooney Canyon area on a hot spot. Crews continued mop up, patrol and suppression repair activities.

Fairly heavy rain fell in the area of Whiting Ranch yesterday afternoon, and a flash flood warning was issued for Sycamore canyon—no flooding was reported.

Thunderstorms and possible rain are predicted for this afternoon, with outflow winds of up to fifty miles per hour possible.

Firefighters around the fire are prepared to take suppression action on any new ignitions resulting from lightning strikes.

On June 30, crews will continue to patrol and mop up around the fire to secure the perimeter. Chipping of woody debris will continue along several portions of the perimeter, and an excavator will be engaged in suppression repair in the area around the Loy Ranch. Smoke from burning interior fuels will continue to be visible for a few more days. The process of demobilizing crews and equipment will continue.

Evacuation status

There are no longer any communities or areas under “GO” evacuation status. However, all areas within the Coconino, Kaibab, and Prescott National Forests remain closed to entry, regardless of evacuation status.

Notifications are in place until status is rescinded or changed by each respective county sheriff’s office.

“GO” – None

“SET” – In Yavapai County, Loy Ranch, Coconino County Sycamore Canyon

“READY” – in Coconino County, Garland Prairie South and Garland Prairie North, South of Williams, Sherwood Forest, Camp Navajo, West of I-17 south of 1-40, Westwood Estates, Flagstaff Ranch (including W.L. Gore), Mountain Dell, Pine Del, Forest Highlands, Kachina Village, University Heights, Equestrian Estates, Upper Oak Creek Canyon, West Fork, Lower Oak Creek Canyon, and in Yavapai County, Grey Ranch, Windmill Ranch, Bear Mountain and Sedona.

Full forest closures are in effect on the Kaibab National Forest, Coconino National Forest and Prescott National Forest.

All Arizona State Trust lands are closed effective June 25.

More information about fire restrictions and closures across the state are available from Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management.

Smoke forecasts are available at Wildfire Smoke Forecast | ADEQ Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (azdeq.gov) and https://fires.airfire.org/outlooks/NorthCentralArizona.

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