Cause determined as piece of faulty catalytic converter
Sedona AZ (August 3, 2020) – Coconino National Forest firefighters continue to suppress the Pig Fire approximately 5 miles south/southeast of Village of Oak Creek off the east side of northbound Interstate 17.
The fire does not pose any risk to structures, homes or communities. Burnout operations yesterday and into the night helped secure the I-17 corridor and other lines around the upper section of Forest Road 689, bringing the fire to 480 acres as of this morning.
Fire investigators determined the cause of the wildfire to be a piece of catalytic converter discharged from a vehicle traveling along the interstate. Faulty catalytic converters can break apart and move through the exhaust system, eventually discharging from the muffler. These tiny pieces of “honeycomb” are extremely hot, and if they land on flammable material—such as dry brush and grass—often start a wildfire.
Fire crews will continue to hold and improve the lines established throughout the day and monitor the south side of the fire where there was little activity yesterday.
Current resources on scene include a Hotshot crew, six engines, a fuels crew, one water tender, one dozer, and partner agency personnel from Arizona Department of Transportation, Department of Public Safety, and Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. In total, approximately 95 firefighters and personnel are assigned to the fire.
Lane restrictions and closures may exist on the northbound side of I-17 near the Sedona exit, so motorists should plan for additional time when traveling north.
Updates will be provided as they are received, and shared via news release and Coconino National Forest social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter).
Additionally, an incident page has been established on Inciweb, where details, photos and maps will be posted each day until full containment.