Fulton Fire Update 9/22/16

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Southwest Area Incident Management Team #1 – Bea Day, Incident Commander
FULTON FIRE UPDATE 9/22/2016
Location: 28 miles east of Payson, AZ – South of State Highway 260
Size: 1,736 acres
Total Personnel: 361, including 9 Hand Crews, 14 Engines, 2 Bull Dozers
Containment: 51%
Strong Gusty Winds Expected Today
Update: The fire displayed minimal activity through the day on Wednesday, allowing crews valuable time to reinforce fire line in anticipation for today’s wind event. Last night firefighters continued to patrol the fire to prevent movement outside of pre-established containment lines. The fire growth reflected in today’s statistics is attributed to improved information gathering resulting in better mapping of the incident area. There was very little actual change in the size of the fire affected area.
Weather: A chance of showers and thunderstorms and higher relative humidity are expected to continue into Friday morning. A frontal passage will occur late today into early Friday, resulting in strong and gusty winds, as well as the wind direction switching from the south to southwest ahead of the front. Dry and warmer conditions are expected over the weekend and into early next week as high pressure aloft builds over the southwestern United States.
Overview: The Fulton Fire was ignited by a lightning strike early Monday, September 12 mid-slope along the Mogollon Rim near the Mogollon Rim Visitor’s Center. Firefighters are fully suppressing the fire as they can do so safely and effectively to help protect local communities, powerlines, recreation sites, travel corridors, wildlife habitat and timber sale areas. They will use a range of tactics to minimize firefighter and public risk and promote forest health. Low intensity fire will be used to minimize smoke impacts.
Firefighters are using existing road and trail systems to contain the north side of the fire. Firefighters plan to keep fire within the perimeter of the 2009 Bachelor Fire using previously established fire control lines on the southeast side of the fire. On the south side of the fire, firefighters are using fuel treatment barriers and established control lines.
Community Meeting: The Fulton Fire Incident Management Team and Gila County Emergency Management are hosting a community meeting today, September 22, at 4 pm at the LDS church in Christopher Creek. Fire personnel will provide an overview on fire activity and plans for management operations for the coming days. An American Sign Language interpreter will be on site.
Fire Information: For additional fire information, visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5031/ or follow @TontoForest on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tontoforest. An interactive fire map can be found at: http://bit.ly/FultonFireMap. If you wish to be on our mailing list for updates or have questions, you may contact us at FultonFireInfo@gmail.com or call (505)750-4636 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

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Fulton Fire Forces Temporary Closure

9/20/16 2:08 PM
002_01-16-593_fulton-closure-mapFulton Fire Temporary Closure
Overgaard, AZ; September 20, 2016 – Due to the Fulton fire activity on the Tonto National Forest, the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, Black Mesa Ranger District has issued a temporary closure order for an area on the Mogollon Rim.
The purpose of this order is to protect public health and safety by limiting exposure to wildfire and fire suppression activities.

The Fulton Fire Temporary Closure and map (Order Number 01-16-593) outlining the closure area is located on the ASNFs website at www.fs.usda.gov/asnf and below is an excerpt from the closure listing the closure boundary.

Order Number 01-16-593: The restriction area includes National Forest System land road 512 and trails within Township 11 North, Range 14 East, Section 31, 32 and 33; Township 10 ½ North, Range 14 East, Sections 23 and 24.
Closure Boundary: Beginning at the southwestern corner of the intersection of National Forest System (NFS) Road 512 (also known locally as Young Road) and Arizona State Route (SR) 260 in Township 11 North, Range 14 East, Section 33; continuing west along the south side of SR 260 to the boundary with Tonto National Forest in Section 31, continuing in a southeast direction along the Forest boundary to NFS Road 512; north along the west side of NFS Road 512 to its intersection with SR 260.
The Mogollon Rim Visitor Center is closed due to the Fulton Fire on the Tonto National Forest and will remain closed until all fire activity has ceased. All other campgrounds and the Woods Canyon Lake Store remain open. Smoke may drift and settle into the Rim Lakes Recreation Area, Forest Lakes and Heber-Overgaard.

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Fill Fire Update

In the 2002 Rodeo – Chediski Fire area: T10N R19E Section 22.
East Boundary is Forest Service Road (FR) 132, North Boundary is FR 139, West Boundary is FR 9845K, and the South Boundary is FR 300.

Start Date: September 15, 2016, reported at 11:49
Cause: Lightning
Size: Approximately 1,000 acres
Vegetation: Ponderosa Pine and Juniper, with areas of moderate to heavy accumulation of dead and down logs.
Resources: 3 Engines and miscellaneous personnel

The Fill Fire is continuing to burn southwest of Pinedale in the previous Rodeo-Chediski Fire perimeter off the Forest Service 132 and 300 roads on the Lakeside Ranger District. Smoke may continue to impact Highway 260 and Clay Springs, and may be visible from State Highway 60 and U.S. Highway 260, as well as the communities of Heber-Overgaard, Linden, Pinedale, Snowflake, Taylor, Show Low and Pinetop-Lakeside.
The 2002 Rodeo-Chediski Fire was Arizona’s second largest fire at 468,000 acres and cost $43.1 million dollars to suppress. Before the fire, the Rodeo-Chediski area was a ponderosa pine forest that had experienced a large buildup of “ladder fuels”. Ladder fuels are plants, low growing shrubs and tree branches that create a ladder of fuels up the tree. When a fire moves through an area without ladder fuels, the fire will stay on the ground and burn only a few small trees and clear up dead vegetation. If there are ladder fuels, a fire can move up the tree and cause a crown fire that will burn from tree to tree. Crown fires are very devastating to the soils, wildlife, trees and plants of an area.

Wildfires burn in irregular patterns at what fire mangers call “burn intensities”. The burn intensity of a fire determines how hot a fire burns in a particular area and the amount of damage it does to the environment. Burn intensities can vary from low severity, which is a ground fire that does minimal damage to trees and plants, to high severity which can destroy all trees and plants.
Since the Rodeo-Chediski Fire burned in different intensities over the area, there are places in the fire that still have healthy large ponderosa pine and oak trees. In other areas, the fire burned at a high intensity and killed all of the trees in the area. Those dead trees eventually fell over and new trees started to grow, filling in many of the spaces. Unfortunately, while the new trees were growing, the old trees were still lying on the ground. This caused fuel ladders to the new trees, which puts them at risk if there is a new high intensity fire.
Fire managers on the Fill Fire are keeping the lightning caused fire at a low intensity to help clean up the dead trees and ladder fuels. The additional benefits to the area include grass regeneration to support elk and deer populations, more potential oak trees and pine trees regenerating, and the area will be a safer environment for firefighters to work in to suppress future fires in the area.
Information on the Fill Fire can be found on Inciweb at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5036/.
The public can obtain additional fire information via the following:
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests http://www.fs.usda.gov/asnf
Northeastern Arizona Public Information System http://311info.net/ or call 311 or 928-333-3412
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