Arizona News – Crews continue to manage the Wilbur Fire, a lightning-caused wildfire located 8.5 miles west of Clints Well, Ariz., that is currently at 474 acres.
Highlights: An emergency area closure has gone into effect as of Thursday, June 8. Forest visitors who plan to recreate on National Forest System lands near Clints Well on the Mogollon Rim Ranger District (MRRD) of the Coconino National Forest should be aware of the closure and seek other recreational opportunities outside of the closure area.
Operations: Yesterday firefighters were able to complete hazard tree felling operations along State Routes (SR) 87 and 260 in coordination with the Arizona Department of Transportation. Traffic delays are not expected to occur over the weekend. Today resources will continue to prep holding features along the fire perimeter where future tactical firing operations can be expected when conditions are favorable to minimize smoke impacts. Fire managers plan to use the opportunity the Wilbur Fire provides to treat the landscape and restore the forest by burning accumulations of hazardous fuels and protecting both critical infrastructure and watersheds from future catastrophic wildfire.
Weather: Temperatures are forecasted to be 72 to 74 degrees Friday. Winds are expected to come from the southwest at 5-to-10 miles per hour. Very good ventilation is forecasted where smoke can disperse out of the surrounding area throughout the day.
Closures: The Coconino NF has issued an area closure to protect public health and safety from unsafe conditions resulting from the Wilbur Fire. The full closure order and map are available on the Coconino NF’s website at fs.usda.gov/alerts/coconino/
Safety: The Wilbur Fire is burning in an area with an extensive road system that firefighters are using for travel and as control features including SR 87 and SR 260. In the interest of public and firefighter safety, forest visitors are asked to travel with caution as fire crews will be on roadways during operations.
Smoke: Impacts from smoke can be expected to be light through the weekend and visible from multiple locations including the Verde Valley and along Lake Mary Road (Forest Highway 3), SR 260, and SR 87. As temperatures cool overnight smoke may linger in drainages and valleys until daytime winds surface.