Schultz Fire North of Flagstaff, AZ

Schultz Fire North of Flagstaff, AZ

23 June 2010

The Schultz Fire had burned an estimated 8,800 acres of forest north of Flagstaff, Arizona, as of June 22, 2010, and it remained totally out of control. Evacuations were in effect in the vicinity, but no structures had yet been lost according to the interagency Incident Information System (Inciweb) Website.

This image of the fire was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on June 21. Places where MODIS detected actively burning fire are outlined in red, and smoke drifts far to the northeast over the portion of the Colorado Plateau known as the Painted Desert.

The blaze looks like two separate fires, but an infrared-enhanced view shows a continuous burn scar (brick red color), with significant activity on both the northern and southern parts of the perimeter.

Source: MODIS

Winds A Challenge In Fighting Arizona Wildfire,June 21, 2010

by The Associated Press Michele Legg/AP

A new wildfire burns Sunday at Schultz Pass between the San Francisco Peaks and Mount Elden in Flagstaff, Ariz. Flagstaff’s Timberline neighborhood was evacuated as wildfires spread.

Arizona wildfires

A new wildfire burns Sunday at Schultz Pass between the San Francisco Peaks and Mount Elden in Flagstaff, Ariz. Flagstaff’s Timberline neighborhood was evacuated as wildfires spread.

Fire crews battling a wildfire northeast of Flagstaff that quickly grew to more than 13 square miles were working Monday to protect homes in the fire’s path. Residents of several hundred homes remained under evacuation orders as the blaze moved within 500 yards of some of those homes, fire spokesman Eric Neitzel said Monday.
Firefighters worked feverishly overnight to build a containment line between forest land and the communities. They also were digging trenches, clearing out dry brush from around homes and spraying them down in hopes they will be spared, Neitzel said.
The combination of high temperatures, low humidity and high winds quickly pushed the fire that broke out Sunday, sending rolling clouds of black and gray smoke into what had been a clear blue sky. No structures have burned in the blaze, which was estimated at 8,849 acres early Monday, with zero containment.
Monday’s forecast called for sustained winds of up to 20 mph and gusts of more than 30 mph.
The fire also was abutting U.S. 89, a key route to Grand Canyon National Park, and officials remained concerned that high winds could cause the fire to leap across the roadway. U.S. 89 north of Flagstaff remained closed near the fire scene and motorists were being rerouted.
Eight air tankers have been aiding ground crews to suppress the blaze, but winds determine whether those air resources can go up. A federal management team took over direction of the firefighting effort Monday, a move that will expand access to resources.
The fire was the second that broke out in two days in the Flagstaff area, both of which spurred evacuations across this forested mountain city. Officials diverted resources from the first blaze reported Saturday in southeastern Flagstaff to the more erratic Schultz fire.
There have been no reports of serious injury in either blaze.
Fire officials have scheduled a meeting Monday evening to update residents on the suppression efforts.
A third fire burning 11 miles northeast of nearby Williams is 60 percent contained after burning 3,420 acres.
Other wildfires in the West also kept firefighters busy.
In Colorado, firefighters east of the Great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado battled a fire burning amid high winds rugged terrain. The fire grew to 4,713 acres by Sunday. In New Mexico, fire officials continued to make progress on two wildfires, including a fire that charred more than 13,158 acres in inaccessible terrain in the Jemez Mountains. Source:

14,000-acre Arizona wildfire continues to burn in Arizona

Flagstaff, Arizona (CNN) — Weary residents evacuated from a raging wildfire in Arizona may be able to return to their homes Wednesday as improving weather conditions helped firefighters battle the blaze.
The three-day old wildfire has torched 14,000 acres in the Flagstaff area and caused the evacuation of hundreds, fire officials said.
One of those evacuated was Christine Mayer, who said she spent her third night in a hotel Tuesday.
“I want to go home,” Mayer told CNN as she looked at the smoke hanging above her Timberline neighborhood outside of Flagstaff. “I am waiting and waiting to hear when we can go home.”
Calmer winds and cooler temperatures Tuesday may have helped the 800 firefighters battling the blaze. But still the wildfire, that was caused by an abandoned campfire, was only 20 percent contained fire officials said late Tuesday.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said some residents may be able to return to their homes Wednesday. Brewer called the fire a “terrible situation,” but she said she was “comforted by the competency of those fighting the fire and the heroes that are on the front lines.”
The governor said she’ll be seeking grants through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help pay for firefighting efforts, which have involved firefighters from Washington, California, Montana, Colorado, Idaho and other western states.
Residents were evacuated from at least 756 properties, including two residential neighborhoods, an animal shelter and the grounds of the Sunset Crater and Wupatki national monuments. Many people have been staying at a middle school in Flagstaff.
Despite the progress, it may take some two weeks to contain the blaze, fire officials said. So far, no buildings have burned.
Fighting the fire is a challenge because it has burned over steep, rugged terrain at elevations between about 7,000 to 10,500 feet. Six air tankers have been fighting the flames, with helicopters providing support to ground crews, according to the Coconino County website. Source:

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