Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests resources continue suppression response to Mesa Fire

Transition to a Type 4 Organization

Springerville, AZ, July 12th, 2022 — Fire personnel from the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests are on scene and continuing their response to the Mesa Fire, located on the Black Mesa Ranger District. The fire was initially reported by a USFS lookout on the 3rd of July. A lightning strike has been determined to be the cause. The fire is currently estimated at 2800 acres and is 25% contained. https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8217/

Management of the fire transitioned from a Type 3 to a Type 4 organizational structure this morning at 7:00 AM. The transition is indicative of reduced fire complexity, activity, and a downsizing of resources needed. All tactical firing operations are complete, including those along containment lines. Firefighters will focus on holding, mop-up, and patrolling. Crews will begin suppression repair moving into the rest of the week. Helicopters and unmanned drones were utilized in the tactical firing operations and dropped more than 3000 PSD (plastic sphere dispensers) spheres to burn unburned fuels in the interior of the fire perimeter where it is unsafe to place fire crews. These technologies allow for reduced risk to firefighter lives and wellbeing.

Smoke is expected to be visible in the coming days, particularly from Hwy 260 and the community of Forest Lakes. An interactive smoke map at https://fire.airnow.gov/ allows you to zoom into your area to see the latest smoke conditions.

There is a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) in effect, this restricts non-fire aircraft over the Mesa Fire until it is rescinded. This includes civilian drones and private planes. Unauthorized aircraft in the area can ground firefighting aircraft, hinder firefighting efforts, and can also result in criminal charges for the offender. If you fly, we can’t. For more information regarding the TFR please visit https://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html . The public is advised to avoid the area if possible. If travel near the area is necessary, please use caution on roadways, watch for heavy equipment in the area, and slow down. These steps increase safety for both the public and for firefighters responding in the area.
Stay up to date on news from the A – S at our website https://www.fs.usda.gov/asnf, on Twitter @A_SNFs and on facebook.com/apachesitgreavesnfs.

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