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  • Arizona 2003

    Wildfire in eastern Arizona doubles in size to nearly 2,000 acres
    ALPINE, Ariz. (AP) - A wildfire in a national forest in eastern
    Arizona has burned 1,900 acres in steep and rocky terrain that has
    made the blaze difficult to contain.
    The fire in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest about 15 miles
    south of Alpine wasn't threatening any structures, and no injuries
    were reported. No estimate was available on when crews would
    contain the fire.
    "It could be a matter of weeks rather than days, because of the
    ruggedness of the terrain," said Gail Aschenbrenner, a fire
    information officer.
    Fourteen fire crews and several helicopters battled the blaze.
    Firefighters also were trying to protect threatened and
    endangered species in the area, such as Mexican gray wolves and
    Mexican spotted owls.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

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    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  • #2
    Fire being monitored

    FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - A wildfire burned about 200 acres of
    rough, isolated terrain in the Coconino National Forest, officials
    said Sunday.
    No homes or structures were threatened by the Mormon fire,
    located about 16 miles east of Flagstaff and 7 miles south of
    Interstate 40. No injuries were reported.
    There was no estimate for containment.
    Officials pulled the last crew off the fire Saturday yet
    continue to monitor its progress.
    The blaze is headed into an area without heavy fire fuels.
    "It's in heavy fuels now, but every day that goes by, it gets
    farther away from its fuel source," said Ken Frederick, fire
    information officer.
    The fire is expected to grow in size. "But it isn't threatening
    any resources of value," Frederick said.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
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    • #3
      RX Burn-48,000 acres

      TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Coronado National Forest officials planned
      to kick off a 48,000-acre prescribed fire Tuesday in far
      southeastern Arizona, one of the state's largest purposely set
      burns in years.
      The aim is to improve wildlife habitat and rangelands by
      reducing an invasion of mesquite and other woody species in
      grassland areas.
      "This is a reintroduction of fire into a fire-dependent
      ecosystem," said Doug Hardy, ranger of the national forest's
      Douglas district.
      About 100 firefighters strung out along perimeter roads were to
      use hand torches to begin establishing exterior control lines,
      before Wednesday's ignition of fire from a helicopter to backburn
      inside the perimeter, Hardy said.
      "The reintroduction of fire kind of mimics a lightning start
      before one of the monsoonal events that would run until the rain
      puts it out," he said.
      "It's certainly the largest prescribed burn we, the Coronado,
      have done" in memory, said Randall Smith, the forest's natural
      resources program leader.
      "We're doing a prescribed burn for ecosystem values. The fire
      is a very, very important process for maintaining the forest and
      the health of the land," Smith said. "So this is part of our
      overall program to restore that forest health."
      Attention has been focused in recent years on the destructive
      force of fire because of drought conditions in the Southwest, "but
      really, fires are an extremely positive effect on the landscape,"
      Smith said.
      The area targeted for the burn near the Peloncillo Mountains
      east of Douglas and close to New Mexico's so-called boot heel,
      includes a patchwork of private and public lands owned by several
      state and federal agencies, much of it dotted with mesquite,
      manzanita and juniper.
      About 15,000 acres in the burn region are on the Coronado
      National Forest.
      Other organizations cooperating in the project include the
      Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona
      State Land Department, the New Mexico Department of Forestry, the
      Malpai Borderlands Group, Animas Foundation and several Mexican
      agencies.
      The burn, starting on the northeastern edge of the target area
      from a previously blackened site, could take four to eight days,
      depending on the rate of fire spread, wind speed and weather
      conditions.

      (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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      Comment


      • #4
        FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - A wildfire burning in isolated terrain
        near the eastern boundary of the Coconino National Forest grew to
        550 acres by Tuesday, officials said.
        Forest Service spokesman Ken Frederick said a strong
        southwestern wind was fanning the flames.
        "I'm certain we're going to upgrade our acreage tomorrow, based
        on how it's burning today," he said Tuesday.
        Fire crews were withdrawn Tuesday because the fire was moving
        from treetop to treetop, Frederick said.
        "It jumps from clumps of trees to clumps of trees on the
        eastern rim of Padre Canyon," Frederick said.
        He said the fire has been moving to the northeast toward open
        space where it will have less fuel.
        The two-mile long fire wasn't threatening homes or structures.
        Frederick said there was no estimated date on containment or the
        final size of the fire.
        Officials plan to keep watching the blaze and won't consider
        putting any crews on it unless it moves west toward a power line or
        surpasses 1,000 acres in size, Frederick said.

        (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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        • #5
          ALPINE, Ariz. (AP) - Burnout operations used in containment
          efforts enabled a lightning-caused wildfire in eastern Arizona to
          grow from 2,000 to nearly 3,800 acres and have closed a portion of
          Arizona 191.
          Some 500 firefighters, including 11 hotshot crews, are battling
          the Thomas fire, burning in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
          about 15 miles southwest of Alpine. The blaze started Friday.
          About six miles of the highway, north of Hannagan Meadow to
          Beaverhead, will be closed for the next few days because of dense
          smoke and fire equipment on the road, Forest Service spokeswoman
          Gail Aschenbrenner said.
          There is no detour through the forest from there, which means
          people traveling from Morenci to Alpine will be unable to drive
          north of Hannagan Meadow, she said.
          The fire growth was attributed primarily to burnout operations
          Tuesday on the northern perimeter, with more burning Wednesday
          along 191 on the fire's northeastern edge, Aschenbrenner said.
          The burnout is occurring primarily in mixed conifers, including
          subalpine fir trees, which are laden with pitch and combustibles
          that put out a great deal of smoke and embers when torched off, she
          said.
          There is no imminent threat to any structures but protection has
          been set up for homes in the Red Hill and Blue River Valley areas,
          she said.
          Officials were still calling the fire only 5 percent contained,
          but they hope to make significant progress in building a fire line
          around the perimeter.
          Two hotshot crews also were working Wednesday on preparing
          several miles along the south flank of the fire for burning a
          perimeter line Thursday.
          Aschenbrenner said there had been four injuries to firefighters,
          with the most serious being a broken leg.
          MORMON FIRE:
          FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - A wildfire burning in isolated terrain
          near the eastern boundary of the Coconino National Forest grew to
          615 acres by Wednesday, officials said.
          Forest Service spokesman Ken Frederick said the Mormon fire is
          moving in the northeast direction and flames were moving from
          treetop to treetop.
          Crews were withdrawn Tuesday because building lines around the
          fire wouldn't keep the flames from jumping from one clump of trees
          to another.
          The fire is expected to burn itself out as it moves toward open
          space where trees are more thinned out and remote. The evening
          humidity would also contribute to the fire dying out, Frederick
          said.
          The blaze wasn't threatening homes or structures. It was burning
          six miles south of Interstate 40, but no highway closures were
          expected.
          Officials expect full containment June 20.
          STRIP FIRE:
          LITTLEFIELD, Ariz. (AP) - The 56-acre Swiss fire was fully
          contained Wednesday, fire officials said.
          The blaze on the Arizona Strip, 15 miles south of St. George,
          Utah, was sparked by lightning Sunday. The fire was in a remote
          area and was not threatening any structures.
          David Boyd, a spokesman for the Bureau of Land Management, said
          firefighters were expected to be finished with the blaze Wednesday
          night.
          JUNIPER FIRE:
          PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) - A fire grew to 95 acres in the northwest
          corner of the Prescott National Forest on Wednesday.
          About 20 firefighters worked on the lightning-caused Juniper
          fire that has been burning toward the northeast flanks, officials
          said. The crew will stay overnight to make sure the fire doesn't
          spread drastically.
          The fire is close to private land, but no structures were
          threatened, said fire information officer Ted Pettis.
          Officials closed one recreation hiking trail because of the
          fire.
          Fire crews are letting the blaze burn itself out.
          "It may be creeping around for another three or four weeks as
          long as it stays low key and stays in the wilderness and doesn't
          threaten any life or structures," Pettis said.

          (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
          Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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          Comment


          • #6
            June 12th

            ALPINE, Ariz. (AP) - Crews continued burnout operations on
            Thursday evening around the 5,200 acre Thomas fire in eastern
            Arizona.
            Gail Aschenbrenner, Forest Service spokeswoman, said helicopters
            also dropped combustibles in hard to reach areas Thursday as part
            of burn-out operations. Crews were focusing on the west and
            northwest flank of the fire, Aschenbrenner said.
            "The winds did exactly what we wanted today," Aschenbrenner
            said late Thursday. "Everything's looking real good."
            The fire is burning on about 8.5 acres in the Apache-Sitgreaves
            National Forest about 15 miles southwest of here.
            Arizona 191 was expected to be closed for several hours Thursday
            night as crews expanded the fire lines to highway's east and south
            border, she said.
            The road was expected to be reopened by Friday, she said.
            Pilot cars have stopped traffic and lead vehicles through heavy
            smoke - activities which will continue as smoke conditions warrant,
            Aschenbrenner said.
            Jonetta Holt, a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman, said several
            hundred firefighters and nine hot shot crews were among those
            fighting the fire Thursday. They were building fire lines and
            igniting some burnout sections with drip torches, Holt said.

            MORMON FIRE:
            FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - A wildfire burning in isolated terrain
            near the eastern boundary of the Coconino National Forest grew to
            about 705 acres by Thursday, officials said.
            "It's pretty moderate fire behavior, it's not spreading
            exceedingly rapidly," said fire information officer Raquel
            Poturalski.
            The Mormon fire continued to move in a northeast direction and
            fire officials expect it to burn itself out as it moves toward open
            space where trees are more thinned out.
            Crews were withdrawn Tuesday because the flames were jumping
            from one clump of trees to another, and building lines around the
            blaze wouldn't stop their spread.
            The fire is being monitored three times a day by air and once a
            day by a fire crew member on land.
            The blaze wasn't threatening homes or structures. It was burning
            six miles south of Interstate 40, where smoke from the fire was
            visible, but no highway closures were expected.
            Officials expect full containment June 20.
            JUNIPER FIRE:
            PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) - A fire grew to about 200 acres in the
            northwest corner of the Prescott National Forest on Thursday.
            "It's not doing much; it's just about to burn itself out,"
            said Tom Tobin, Central West Zone coordinator.
            Fire crews were withdrawn Thursday and officials are monitoring
            the blaze by air.
            Though winds have reached 13 mph in the area, the flames are
            burning deeper into the wilderness in the northeast direction away
            from private property, fire information officer Ted Pettis said.
            No structures were being threatened.
            Officials closed one recreation hiking trail Wednesday because
            of the fire.
            HAY FIRE:
            PARKER, Ariz. (AP) - Firefighters contained a 300-acre blaze
            Thursday afternoon on the Colorado River Indian Reservation.
            About 100 firefighters worked to contain the blaze, which was
            charring brush and mesquite near the Colorado River about six miles
            south of Parker, said fire information officer Lori Cook. There
            were no injuries.
            Sixteen engines, one dozer and four water tenders were also used
            to battle the fire.
            The fire had threatened three homes Wednesday night and forced
            the evacuation of two families. The families were allowed to return
            home Thursday morning.
            The cause remained under investigation, but there had been no
            lightning in the area when it started Wednesday morning.
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            • #7
              June 16th

              FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - A wildfire burning through drought- and
              pest-ravaged pinyon pine and juniper forest had consumed about
              1,600 acres by Monday night.
              Despite the fire's growth, authorities reopened an 18-mile
              stretch of Interstate 40, the main route across northern Arizona,
              Monday evening, said Jason Kirchner, fire information officer for
              the Coconino National Forest.
              The road had been closed for much of the day because of smoke
              and flying embers.
              The Lizard fire was moving towards the highway but Kirchner said
              crews expected that fire lines and previous burn-out operations
              would bring the fire down.
              Although no structures were threatened, officials were keeping
              an eye on the fire's proximity to several power lines, Kirchner
              said.
              Karen Malis-Clark, a fire information officer for the Coconino
              National Forest, said that most of the acreage growth on Monday
              resulted from burnout operations.
              The blaze was sparked by lightning about a week and a half ago
              but smoldered low to the ground until Sunday, said Ken Frederick, a
              fire information officer with the Coconino National Forest.
              The forest is tinder-dry from years of drought and an
              infestation of tree-killing bark beetles.
              About 70 firefighters and an air tanker were fighting the blaze
              Monday.

              THOMAS FIRE
              ALPINE, Ariz. - Fire crews continued making progress Monday
              toward containing the 10,600-acre Thomas fire in eastern Arizona,
              officials said.
              The size of the fire was not likely to change, but the blaze
              remained active in its interior and toward the southern flank,
              Coronado National Forest spokeswoman Gail Aschenbrenner said.
              The fire, about 15 miles southwest of Alpine, remained about 80
              percent contained, and officials had not set an estimated time for
              full containment yet, she said.
              Crews continued to hold and expand fire lines Monday,
              essentially mopping up and patrolling on the western and northern
              flanks and holding the perimeter lines on the eastern and southern
              flanks.
              Three hotshot crews were staying out in the field, with food and
              supplies being ferried by helicopter, Aschenbrenner said.
              Meanwhile, there were isolated showers and thunderstorms, some
              bringing lightning strikes and starting at least one new fire, she
              said.
              Another spokeswoman Teresa Ann Ciapusci, said the cost of
              battling the fire was estimated at $2.68 million as of Monday
              morning.

              MORMON FIRE
              FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Mormon fire had grown to 2,500 acres on
              the eastern edge of the Coconino National Forest as it continued
              its advance Monday through trees deadened by bark beetles and the
              ongoing drought.
              "It's not a surprise how large it's gotten," said fire
              information officer Raquel Poturalski.
              Officials have been carefully watching the lightning-sparked
              fire but allowing it to burn through dead trees as it headed toward
              grasses and lighter fuels, said Ken Frederick, fire information
              officer for the Coconino National Forest.
              The fire was not threatening any structures, so as long as it
              burned within parameters set by forest officials, it was going to
              be allowed to continue, he said.
              Officials expected full containment by June 20.

              PICACHO RESERVOR
              COOLIDGE, Ariz. - A 700-acre blaze was burning through desert
              brush on Monday, but fire crews were not actively trying to put out
              the blaze.
              Arizona State Land Department dispatch manager Deneen Cone said
              several people were patrolling the fire to ensure it didn't grow,
              but the interior was being allowed to burn to clear out brush.
              The fire was not threatening any structures and did not grow
              substantially on Monday.
              The human-caused blaze started early Saturday.

              RIVER FIRE
              BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. - A 491-acre fire on the Colorado River
              Indian Reservation was being called fully contained Monday.
              The River fire was burning between Bullhead City and Needles,
              Calif.
              Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Lori Cook said the
              human-caused blaze broke out Thursday.

              (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
              Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
              Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

              *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
              On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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              • #8
                June 17th

                TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Residents of Summerhaven were evacuated as
                the Aspen fire grew to 100 acres on Marshall Peak a few miles south
                of town.
                "We consider this a significant fire with lots of potential for
                growth," said Sharon Brown, fire information officer with the
                Coronado National Forest.
                The Pima County Sheriff's Department was assisting with the
                Tuesday night evacuations, said Deputy Steve Easton, department
                spokesman.
                "We've closed the road completely at this point and are
                evacuating people north of milepost 20," Easton said referring to
                the Catalina Highway.
                It wasn't immediately known how many people were being asked to
                leave their homes.
                Although the fire was not threatening any structures, Brown said
                evacuations were being done as a precaution should the fire quickly
                travel into populated areas.
                Meanwhile the Southern Arizona Chapter of the American Red Cross
                set up a station at Tucson's Sabino High School to assist evacuees,
                said April Brown, Red Cross spokeswoman.
                The Aspen fire was first reported Tuesday afternoon but quickly
                surged into treetops, leaping through thick ponderosa pines on
                Marshall Peak.
                An aerial tanker dumped retardant on the blaze burning in rugged
                terrain. By Tuesday night, two more tankers and a Type 1 fire team
                had been sent for, Brown said.
                Large clouds of smoke could be seen over the eastern edge of the
                Santa Catalina mountains.
                It's unclear how the fire began, Brown said.
                A second fire has been reported in the nearby Rincon Mountains,
                southeast of the Catalinas and had scorched about half an acre,
                Brown said.
                Brown said that experts did not believe the two blazes would
                join together.

                (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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                • #9
                  Rx burn gone bad

                  CAMP VERDE, Ariz.(AP) - A prescribed burn which jumped outside
                  control lines had charred an estimated 1,250 acres and forced
                  residents in a small subdivision to evacuate, a fire spokeswoman
                  said.
                  Two "Type One" elite firefighting teams as well as bulldozers
                  worked through Tuesday night fighting the blaze, said Linda
                  Jackson, a fire information officer with the Prescott National
                  Forest.
                  Residents of six homes in the Federal Mine subdivision were
                  evacuated Tuesday, she said.
                  Although the fire had come within about a half mile of the
                  homes, crews, bulldozers and air tankers built wide fire lines and
                  dropped retardant to protect them, Jackson said.
                  The fire was burning within a half mile of the homes and about
                  13 miles northwest of Camp Verde, Jackson said.
                  When the Cherry fire began, Jackson said that crews were doing
                  "mop-up" operations as a 4,500 acre prescribed burn wound down.
                  "The prescribed fire did exactly what we wanted it to do. Then
                  the wind shifted unexpectedly and it broke through on the north
                  side and got into some unburned fuels. Then the wind got into it,"
                  Jackson said.
                  Although the blaze's exact acreage was not known, Jackson said
                  the Cherry fire's 1,250 acres was in addition to the 4,500 acre
                  prescribed burn.

                  (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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                  • #10
                    June 18th

                    TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Homes and businesses were evacuated in a
                    mountain community because of a wildfire feeding on pine forest
                    ravaged by drought and bark beetles.
                    About 150 acres had burned by Wednesday near the hamlet of
                    Summerhaven, on Mount Lemmon outside Tucson, said fire information
                    officer Marylee Peterson. The fire started Tuesday about two to
                    three miles from Summerhaven.
                    By afternoon, flames had drawn to within a mile or less of the
                    community, said Forest Service spokesman Randall Smith. Still, the
                    fire was not advancing as quickly as it had earlier.
                    "We have had some gusty winds, but nothing extremely strong,
                    and we are beginning to make progress on the fire," Smith said.
                    All residences and businesses in Summerhaven were evacuated late
                    Tuesday. About 20 fire trucks were posted in the southern Arizona
                    community Wednesday, Peterson said.
                    Elsewhere, a blaze in the Sierra Nevada near Carson City, Nev.,
                    had been contained after burning 1,200 acres and closing a highway
                    to Lake Tahoe.
                    The nation's two largest wildfires had blackened a total of
                    nearly 70,000 acres in southwestern New Mexico, but they were
                    low-intensity blazes being managed for the benefit of the forest,
                    officials said.
                    "They're good fires," Gila National Forest spokeswoman Loretta
                    Ray said Tuesday in Silver City, N.M. "It's been a good
                    opportunity to allow fire to resume its role in the ecosystem."
                    And in central Arizona, a prescribed burn that jumped fire lines
                    had burned some 1,500 acres, forcing the evacuation of about 15
                    homes in the rural community of Cherry.
                    Although Summerhaven is home to about 100 year-round residents,
                    the population swells during weekends and summers. There are more
                    than 700 homes and cabins on the flanks of 9,157-foot Mount Lemmon.
                    Peterson said she didn't know how many people had been
                    evacuated.
                    Last year, a fire that burned more than 30,000 acres came within
                    several hundred feet of Summerhaven, forcing residents to evacuate
                    for two weeks.
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                    • #11
                      June 18th

                      CAMP VERDE, Ariz. (AP) - A prescribed burn jumped fire lines and
                      burned 1,500 acres, forcing residents to evacuate an area about 13
                      miles northwest of Camp Verde.
                      On Tuesday, officials evacuated about 15 homes in the small
                      community of Cherry to the east of the fire; only about six are
                      believed to belong to permanent residents, said fire information
                      officer Gary Wittman.
                      By Wednesday morning, the fire, charring chaparral and low
                      brush, had burned past the subdivision and was heading north.
                      "They're fairly secure right now," he said.
                      But fire information officer Jackie Denk said residents remained
                      evacuated until officials were sure the fire would not shift
                      directions and head back toward the homes.
                      Fire crews, aided by aircraft and engines, planned to build fire
                      lines on the east and west sides of the fire hoping to pinch it off
                      on the north side, Wittman said.
                      About 150 to 200 firefighters were working on the blaze
                      Wednesday and more were being added, said Denk.
                      Heavy smoke was reported over much of the Verde Valley in
                      central Arizona.
                      The fire started with a controlled burn of 4,500 acres on
                      Monday, but erratic winds propelled the fire over control lines
                      Tuesday, charring the additional 1,500 acres.

                      LIZARD FIRE
                      FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - A 2,900-acre fire east of Flagstaff continued
                      burning south of Interstate 40 on Wednesday.
                      Firefighters were performing backburning operations on the
                      blaze, hoping to get it contained by Thursday nigh, said fire
                      information officer Connie Birkland.
                      The backburning will likely cause the fire to grow an additional
                      500 acres, she said.
                      The Lizard fire was sparked more than a week ago by lightning
                      but didn't flare up until the weekend.
                      On Tuesday, the blaze caused heavy smoke to fall over Flagstaff.
                      It remained hazy over the city Wednesday, Birkland said.

                      PICTURE FIRE
                      PUNKIN CENTER, Ariz. - A fire was burning north of Roosevelt
                      Lake on Wednesday in a remote area of the Tonto National Forest.
                      The blaze, estimated at 600 to 700 acres, had been reported at
                      just 15 acres on Tuesday, said fire information officer Dave
                      Killebrew. "It grew pretty dramatically," he said.
                      The fire, 10 miles north of Roosevelt Lake, is believed to be
                      human-caused, but it remains under investigation.
                      Sixty to 75 firefighters were working on the blaze, but more
                      were on the way, Killebrew said.

                      MORMON FIRE
                      FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The 2,600-acre Mormon fire continued to burn
                      within the perimeter set by fire officials.
                      The lightning-sparked fire was being allowed to burn as long as
                      it stayed within those lines, fire information officer Connie
                      Birkland said Wednesday.
                      The fire has headed into lighter fuels and is expected to
                      eventually burn itself out, she said.

                      PICACHO RESERVOIR FIRE
                      COOLIDGE, Ariz. - An 850-acre fire north of Picacho was 90
                      percent contained Wednesday.
                      The blaze was being allowed to burn itself out as long as it
                      stayed within the Picacho Reservoir area, said Cliff Pearlberg of
                      the Arizona State Land Department.
                      The human-caused blaze started on Saturday and was charring
                      grasses, mesquite trees and small brush.
                      Full containment of the blaze was expected late Friday, said
                      Pearlberg.

                      (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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                      • #12
                        TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - A wildfire driven by winds up to 60 mph
                        roared through a southern Arizona mountain community Thursday,
                        burning 200 to 250 homes, a fire official said.
                        It took less than an hour for the fire to tear through an area
                        of Summerhaven with about 500 homes, burning some and sparing
                        others, said Larry Humphrey, commander of the team directing the
                        fight against the fire.
                        Firefighters had hoped to protect the homes on Mount Lemmon
                        north of Tucson by making a stand along a trail about a mile away,
                        but had to pull back when the intense blaze crossed the path,
                        Humphrey said.
                        The fire had forced the evacuation of Summerhaven, a community
                        with hundreds of vacation homes and about 100 year-round residents,
                        shortly after it started Tuesday.
                        Humphrey said the fire, which had been reported at about 465
                        acres early Thursday, had grown to cover thousands of acres by late
                        afternoon, and could threaten radio transmitters and a radar
                        facility on the mountain.
                        The blaze consumed pine trees ravaged by years of drought and an
                        infestation of tree-killing bark beetles. It was one of several
                        wildfires throughout Arizona, where fire officials are braced for
                        another busy year after seeing a record 630,000 acres burned in
                        2002.
                        Humphrey said crews planned to fight structure fires through the
                        night. They were hampered by exploding propane tanks and downed
                        power lines, he said.
                        "We're going to continue to go in there ... and protect the
                        ones that we can and save the ones that we can," Humphrey said.
                        "And then we're going to go back to the drawing board to see what
                        we can do to put this fire to sleep."
                        The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
                        About 400 people were fighting the fire, assisted by air tankers
                        and helicopters. But with high winds and low humidity expected to
                        hinder their efforts in coming days, "there's not a thing
                        happening that's on our side," Humphrey said.
                        "This fire is burning very hot, very intense," said Chadeen
                        Palmer, a spokeswoman for the team directing the firefighting
                        efforts.
                        Palmer said the wildfire resembled last year's Rodeo-Chediski
                        fire, the worst in Arizona history. That eastern Arizona blaze
                        covered 469,000 acres, destroyed 491 buildings and forced the
                        evacuation of about 30,000 people.
                        Summerhaven has an estimated 700 homes and cabins and a handful
                        of businesses. Its population swells during weekends and summers as
                        visitors drive up 9,157-foot Mount Lemmon to escape the desert
                        heat.
                        Firefighters held a briefing for evacuees and owners of second
                        homes in Summerhaven at a resort hotel in nearby Oro Valley. The
                        hotel provided a ballroom as an information center and rooms for
                        evacuees.
                        Some residents cried, others hugged when they were heard about
                        the damage. Others simply reflected.
                        "To have a house up there has been a dream of mine since I was
                        a kid," said Ron DeSchalit, who has owned a home in Summerhaven
                        since 1999.
                        Cathy Dimond has worked at the Mount Lemmon Cafe for two years,
                        commuting up the mountain.
                        "Pretty much my entire social circle is on the mountain,"
                        Dimond said. "It's like watching my own back yard going up in
                        flames."
                        Fifty-one residents had registered with the Red Cross, said
                        April Brown, the organization's public relations coordinator.
                        Gov. Janet Napolitano declared a state of emergency Thursday to
                        free up money for firefighting efforts. She said she plans to seek
                        a similar declaration from the federal government to bring in aid
                        that would include low-interest loans to rebuild homes.

                        (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
                        Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
                        Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

                        *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
                        On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Background info on Summerhaven

                          Summerhaven, Ariz., is aptly named, a sky island 25 miles
                          northeast of and 6,000 feet above Tucson.
                          Several hundred people find relief there from the desert summers
                          in cabins and second homes. It's a year-round home to about 100,
                          complete with the southernmost ski area in the United States and a
                          one-room school.
                          Thousands of others head up winding Catalina Highway each year
                          to escape the heat or throw snowballs.
                          Summerhaven sits atop 9,150-foot Mount Lemmon and is surrounded
                          by the Coronado National Forest. It has about 700 homes and cabins
                          and a handful of businesses. Most sit on 350 acres of private land;
                          others are on land leased from the U.S. Forest Service.
                          Many of the homes are primitive cabins built in the 1950s and
                          early '60s. Some recently-constructed homes are much fancier and
                          can sell for up to $200,000.
                          Summerhaven started about a century ago with a homestead. After
                          the Depression, Randolph Jenks bought most of the acreage from the
                          defunct Summerhaven Land and Improvement Co. and added private land
                          through mining claims.
                          School teacher Tony Zimmerman sold lots for him, opened a
                          chicken-dinner restaurant and inn, built a post office and operated
                          a sawmill.
                          Unlike most southern Arizona residents, Summerhaven dwellers
                          contend with a real winter. A hundred inches or more of snow is
                          common, though the area had been in a prolonged drought.

                          (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
                          Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
                          Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

                          *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
                          On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Summary June 19th

                            CAMP VERDE, Ariz. (AP) - Residents evacuated from a tiny
                            community north of Cherry were allowed to return home on Thursday.
                            The 15 homes had been evacuated since Tuesday, but the fire,
                            which began as a prescribed burn before jumping the line, burned
                            past the community without damaging structures.
                            Firefighters hoped to get the 1,000-acre Cherry fire fully
                            contained by Friday.
                            Officials had initially estimated the fire at about 1,500 acres,
                            but based on mapping, they revised the figure downward on Thursday.
                            The blaze, about 13 miles northwest of Camp Verde, was 90
                            percent contained Thursday.

                            LIZARD FIRE
                            FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Firefighters expected to fully contain a
                            4,500-acre fire burning east of Flagstaff by Friday evening.
                            "The fire's looking really good," said fire information
                            officer Ken Frederick on Thursday.
                            About 100 firefighters aided by six engines and two water
                            tankers worked Thursday on clearing the mostly dead pinion and
                            juniper trees around the fire, which was 85 percent contained.
                            Fire crews tried to protect archaeological sites in the area by
                            conducting burnout operations, instead of using bulldozers.
                            Two power poles burned, but power was rerouted.
                            Light smoke was visible from Interstate 40 east of Flagstaff,
                            but no structures or properties were threatened.
                            Lightning sparked the blaze nearly two weeks ago.

                            MORMON FIRE
                            FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The 2,600-acre Mormon fire continued to burn
                            Thursday within a perimeter set by fire officials.
                            "It's very inactive," said Ken Frederick, a fire information
                            officer. "It's looking really good. Fire activity has really
                            diminished in the past two to three days."
                            The lightning-sparked fire was being allowed to burn as long as
                            it stayed within those lines. It was expected to eventually burn
                            itself out.

                            PICACHO RESERVOIR FIRE
                            COOLIDGE, Ariz. - An 875-acre fire north of Picacho was expected
                            to be fully contained by late Friday.
                            The blaze was being allowed to burn itself out as long as it
                            stayed within the Picacho Reservoir area, said Cliff Pearlberg of
                            the Arizona State Land Department.
                            Fire crews aided by an engine were monitoring the fire Thursday,
                            which threatened one residence. No evacuation was ordered, and it
                            wasn't clear if anyone lived in the structure, said fire
                            information officer Bob Celaya.
                            The fire, which was 90 percent contained Thursday, was started
                            by people on Saturday.

                            PICTURE FIRE
                            PUNKIN CENTER, Ariz. - A fire burning north of Roosevelt Lake
                            had grown to 1,600 acres by Thursday.
                            The Picture fire in the Tonto National Forest had been reported
                            at just 15 acres on Tuesday but grew dramatically by Wednesday.
                            More than 400 firefighters were working on the blaze, 10 miles
                            north of Roosevelt Lake, but no estimated date of containment was
                            set, said fire information officer Rick Hartigan.
                            The fire, burning in a remote area, was not threatening any
                            structures.
                            It was believed to be human-caused, but it remains under
                            investigation, Hartigan said.

                            POWELL FIRE
                            GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - Officials monitored but were not fighting
                            a lightning-caused fire that had burned about 375 acres on the
                            north rim of the Grand Canyon.
                            The Powell fire, which began Sunday, was in an area about 15
                            miles northwest of the developed North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
                            The fire was allowed to burn as part of a strategy of letting
                            naturally ignited wildland fires go to replenish wilderness, said
                            fire information officer Nancy Guerrero.
                            "As long as it's not destroying anything, we're happy,"
                            Guerrero said. "It was determined that it was more beneficial to
                            allow this fire to burn than to suppress it."
                            Despite the fire, the North Rim remained open to visitors, but
                            the North Bass and Powell Plateau trails along with Swamp Ridge
                            Road jal!been closed temporarily, park spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge
                            said.
                            Eight fire crew members were monitoring the fire Thursday to
                            ensure it didn't spread drastically.
                            The fire is likely to last for several weeks, and with
                            anticipated daily growth of 50 to 200 acres, it could mushroom to
                            several thousand acres, said Craig Letz, the park's fire use
                            manager.

                            (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
                            Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
                            Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

                            *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
                            On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              June 22nd

                              SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. (AP) - Residents evacuated from 25 homes
                              were allowed to return home Sunday morning after a wildfire about
                              15 miles south of here no longer threatened their structures,
                              officials said.
                              Crews succeeded in protecting the homes by conducting back-burns
                              that moved toward the 1,000-acre wildfire in Ash Canyon and robbed
                              the blaze of some of its natural fuels, said fire information
                              officer Joan Vasey.
                              The fire was 50 percent contained by Sunday night, and full
                              containment was expected by Monday night, Vasey said.
                              "The terrain is one of the things challenging the
                              firefighters," Vasey said.
                              She said the fire didn't really grow Sunday, but it is still
                              actively burning in the upper elevations.
                              "We hope to get a handle on the fire before the winds really
                              kick in," she said.
                              Two Hot Shot crews were fighting the blaze Sunday and five more
                              crews were requested, she said.
                              The cause of the Ash fire, which began midday Saturday, was
                              under investigation. No injuries were reported.
                              Aircraft dumping water and retardant on the fire were grounded
                              temporarily because of high winds, Vasey said.

                              HELEN II FIRE
                              SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. (AP) - A fire in steep and rocky
                              terrain in the Rincon Mountains had burned about 640 acres of oak
                              and pine by Sunday.
                              There are no structures in the area, but the Helen II fire was
                              threatening Mexican spotted owl and peregrine falcon habitat,
                              officials said.
                              Several campgrounds and trails were closed.
                              The fire started Tuesday and was lightning-caused. It was 20
                              percent contained.
                              Of the 301 people at the fire scene, one minor injury was
                              reported, said Saguaro National Park Service spokeswoman Karen
                              Lightfoot.

                              POWELL FIRE
                              GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. (AP) - A fire on the north rim
                              of the Grand Canyon continued to burn Sunday.
                              Park officials monitored progress of the Powell fire but were
                              allowing it to burn to restore the ecosystem.
                              The natural fire had consumed more than 610 acres since it
                              started June 15.
                              The developed portion of the north rim remained open to visitors
                              though the North Bass, Powell Plateau, and Swamp Ridge Trails are
                              temporarily closed.
                              The fire is expected to burn several weeks.

                              PICTURE FIRE
                              PUNKIN CENTER, Ariz. (AP) - A fire burning north of Roosevelt
                              Lake had grown to about 11,230 acres by Sunday, officials said.
                              The Picture fire was 50 percent contained. The fire, which has
                              run into sparser fuels, is expected to be fully contained by
                              Thursday, said fire information officer Rick Barton.
                              He said the fire fighters still have 6 miles of line to build
                              before it is completely contained.
                              The blaze was continuing to burn in a remote area, where an
                              outbuilding and spotted owl habitat were threatened, Barton said.
                              The nearest community, Young, is about 10 miles from the fire,
                              but it was not threatened.
                              The Picture fire in the Tonto National Forest had been reported
                              at just 15 acres on Tuesday but grew dramatically by Wednesday.
                              The fire, which is10 miles north of Roosevelt Lake, was believed
                              to be human-caused, but it remains under investigation.
                              There have been no injuries, Barton said.

                              (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
                              Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
                              Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

                              *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
                              On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

                              Comment

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