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  • #31
    EXTREME!!

    By ARTHUR H. ROTSTEIN
    Associated Press Writer
    TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - With moisture in trees and other vegetation
    at record low levels, the potential for extreme fire behavior in
    Arizona is worse than last year, an expert fire analyst said
    Monday.
    "We are presently at record levels regarding extreme fire
    behavior potential," said Ron Moody of the federal interagency
    Southwest Coordination Center in Albuquerque, N.M.
    Moody warned fire incident commanders in Arizona, New Mexico and
    West Texas about the situation in a fire behavior alert issued for
    the region.
    "I think it's very significant," Moody, a retired fuels
    specialist now working as a fire behavior analyst, said in a
    telephone interview.
    Arizona is at record levels for a key measurement that reveals
    how hot a fire can burn, he said.
    Called 'energy release component', or ERC, the index is used by
    wildland fire specialists and is considered the best indicator of
    the effects of long-term drying on fire behavior, he said.
    Combined with record ERCs and record lows for fuel moisture,
    massive numbers of still-standing trees killed by beetle
    infestations have created an unprecedented potential for extreme
    landscape scale fire, the advisory said.
    "When we have ignitions or ongoing fires, fuels are about as
    low as they can be, and basically the conditions are explosive,"
    Moody said.
    As an example, he cited explosive characteristics seen Monday in
    the Kinishba (pronounced kih-NEESH'-buh) fire in eastern Arizona's
    White Mountains, which forced the evacuation of several communities
    near Whiteriver on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.
    "The Kinishba demonstrated some plume-dominated behavior today,
    and we're expecting some of the same tomorrow," he said.
    A plume-dominated fire is more unpredictable than a wind-driven
    fire, Moody said.
    It occurs with lower wind speeds, when a pyrocumulous cloud
    forms high above the fire - a gray plume that looks like a cumulous
    cloud - that sends wind gusts out of its bottom as the heat above
    cools off and falls, spreading fire in all directions, Moody said.
    ERC records are based on the date and time of year, and for
    Friday they were "the highest for that date that we have seen,"
    he said.
    "They're still over the record and will be. The ERC is
    basically driven by fuel moisture, and until we get some
    significant rain we're going to have problems."
    Moody's alert said that 27 of the 41 Arizona sites used by the
    center to record ERC data were above any previous ERC record for
    the date, with most above the 97th percentile and some "off the
    scale."
    The start of this year's rainy season has been late, which adds
    to the record-setting ERC levels.
    "We're not seeing a clear picture of a great monsoon period
    yet," said Dan Borsum, a National Weather Service meteorologist
    assigned to the Southwest Center.
    Tropical storm Claudette over the Gulf of Mexico is pushing dry
    air ahead of it across Mexico and western Texas which will
    compromise moist air pushing in behind a temperature-searing high
    pressure system now moving toward the Four Corners.
    But that migration also has been delayed because of a strong
    northerly jet stream, Borsum said.
    Temperatures are expected to remain above normal through Friday
    with humidity levels expected to stay about the same, he 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


    • #32
      Contained!

      Crews contain Aspen fire

      (Tucson-AP) -- Firefighters officially contained the Aspen fire
      this evening -- about a month after the blaze started.
      The fire in the Coronado National Forest spanned
      84-thousand-750-acres and destroyed 340 structures.
      Officials expect some flare-ups since a few warm spots remain.
      Firefighters are concerned about lightning forecast for the
      area. It could cause new blazes outside the Aspen fire's perimeter.
      A 20-person crew will remain on the scene to patrol and conduct
      mop up. Workers have already started spreading straw and seeds to
      help stabilize slopes.
      Costs for fighting the blaze are estimated at 16-point-3 (m)
      million.
      Investigators believe the blaze began near a trail southwest of
      Summerhaven. They do not know if the fire was an accident or if it
      was started intentionally.

      (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


      • #33
        July 16th

        By SARA THORSON
        Associated Press Writer
        WHITERIVER, Ariz. (AP) - Firefighters were concerned Wednesday
        about wind, lightning and a lack of rain as they battled a blaze
        that forced thousands of people to leave their homes on the Fort
        Apache Indian Reservation.
        The 14,250-acre blaze had gotten to within about a third of a
        mile of homes around Whiteriver, headquarters of the White Mountain
        Apache Tribe.
        Elsewhere in the Southwest, Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado
        was closed to visitors for the second time in two years because of
        wildfires and authorities said Wednesday the flames threatened the
        park's historic ruins.
        As many as 5,000 people had fled their homes in Whiteriver and
        other communities on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.
        Carrie Templin, a spokeswoman for the firefighters, said there
        was a potential for wind that could drive the Kinishba fire and
        thunderstorms that could produce lightning but little rain in the
        forested mountains of eastern Arizona.
        "If we have lightning, we'll definitely have (new) fires,"
        Templin said. Lightning started at least three new fires in the
        area Tuesday but they were quickly neutralized.
        The fire was started by lightning Sunday east of the starting
        point for last summer's Rodeo-Chediski fire, the largest wildfire
        in state history. Last year's fire charred 469,000 acres and
        destroyed 491 homes.
        The latest blaze had gotten to within four miles of a point that
        would trigger evacuations in Pinetop-Lakeside and mountain
        communities about 20 miles to the north, where the population
        swells to 30,000 in the summer.
        Lightning started at least six fires Tuesday in Mesa Verde, in
        the southwest corner of Colorado, and Assistant Superintendent
        Betty Janes said all visitors and the park's 30 to 50 residential
        employees were evacuated.
        Five of the fires were still burning Wednesday inside and
        outside the park. The total acreage burned was estimated at 200
        acres, said Larry Helmerick, fire information officer for the Rocky
        Mountain Area Coordination Center.
        Helmerick said the stone ruins were considered threatened, but
        didn't immediately have details on how they would be affected.
        In 2000, two wildfires charred more than a third of the park's
        52,000 acres, and a blaze in 2002 blackened more than 2,600 acres.
        The park holds some 25,000 archaeological sites left by an Indian
        culture that vanished more than 700 years ago. Its cliff dwellings
        date to the 1200s and pit houses date to the 500s.
        In Wyoming, the Snake River was reopened to recreational use
        Wednesday after being closed for three days because of fire. July
        is the peak business month for rafting operations and fishing
        outfitters, with as many as 8,000 people a day floating down the
        river.
        "I know they hit the river as fast as they could this
        morning," said Jay Kriss, Bridger-Teton National Forest spokesman.
        The 3,200-acre fire was 20 percent contained, Kriss said.
        Fires also were active in Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada,
        Utah, Oregon and Washington, the National Interagency Fire Center
        said.
        ---
        On the Net:
        National Interagency Fire Center: http://www.nifc.gov
        Kinishba Fire: http://www.fireground.com/
        White Mountain Apache: http://www.wmat.nsn.us/

        (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


        • #34
          July 17th

          HANNAGAN MEADOW, Ariz. (AP) - Fire officials evacuated people
          from two sites near a 4,000-acre wildfire in the Apache-Sitgreaves
          National Forest on Thursday.
          Officials didn't know how many people were evacuated from a U.S.
          Forest Service administration building and Hannagan Meadow Lodge,
          which has several cabins and a gas station.
          The Steeple fire also forced the closure of Highway 191 for an
          86-mile stretch between Alpine and Morenci in eastern Arizona. The
          blaze burned about a quarter mile along the highway Thursday, and
          firefighters tried to keep the fire from moving west to the other
          side of the highway, said Dorman McGann, spokesman for the
          Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.
          About 100 firefighters were aided by three dozers and two
          helicopters that dropped water over the blaze.
          No other structures were threatened. Nearby campgrounds and part
          of the Blue Primitive area, which is used mostly for hiking, were
          closed.
          None of the lightning-sparked fire, which started Sunday five
          miles east of Hannagan Meadow, was contained.

          LARGO FIRE
          ALPINE, Ariz. (AP) - Homes previously threatened by a 1,200-acre
          fire in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest were not in immediate
          danger Thursday afternoon, officials said.
          The Largo fire had threatened 30 structures early Thursday, but
          the blaze wasn't moving toward the homes. High winds up to 35 mph
          were expected in the afternoon but they never came, said Dorman
          McGann, spokesman for the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.
          Officials at the Greenlee County Sheriff's Department estimated
          that about 60 people lived in the homes and were prepared to leave
          if the U.S. Forest Service decided to evacuate the area.
          "They're not in a real major threat," McGann said.
          About 100 firefighters built lines along the upper Blue River to
          keep the blaze from reaching the structures, which were about a
          half mile from the Largo fire.
          Part of the Blue Primitive area, which is used mostly for
          hiking, was closed.
          The fire was 15 percent contained, and officials expected to
          extinguish it by Aug. 1.
          Lightning started the fire 15 miles south of Alpine on Sunday.

          WEST FIRE
          SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. - Fire crews mopped up hot areas of the
          1,100-acre fire in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation
          Area on Thursday.
          The fire was about 95 percent contained early Thursday, with
          full containment expected by the end of the day, said Lorraine
          Buck, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Land Management.
          No structures were threatened by the blaze.

          POPCORN FIRE
          GLOBE, Ariz. (AP) - Fire crews contained a 426-acre fire near
          the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation on Thursday.
          No damage was caused by the Popcorn fire, which burned primarily
          through juniper trees, said Velasquez W. Sneezy, spokesman for the
          Bureau of Indian Affairs.
          The blaze, which started Sunday, was in a remote area in Popcorn
          Canyon south of the Salt River.

          LAS CIENEGAS FIRES
          TUCSON, Ariz. - A group of three small fires burning in the Las
          Cienegas National Conservation Area were contained early Thursday.
          Lorraine Buck, a spokeswoman at the Bureau of Land Management,
          said crews working on the fires performed burnout operations to
          deny the fires fuel late Wednesday.
          The fires were contained at a total of 500 acres.


          (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


          • #35
            7/20

            WHITERIVER, Ariz. (AP) - There was minimal growth to a
            21,500-acre wildfire Sunday after thunderstorms brought rain and
            hail to eastern Arizona.
            Weekend storms also caused two new lightning fires southwest of
            the Kinishba fire totaling about 7 acres. Those fires were quickly
            contained, said Chadeen Palmer, a spokeswoman for the crew fighting
            the fire.
            The Kinishba fire, which has cost $4.4 million to fight so far,
            was 60 percent contained Sunday.
            Though the fire had come within a quarter mile of some houses
            earlier in the week, no homes were damaged and none were
            threatened.
            Crews focused Sunday on the northern end of the blaze, building
            fire lines and conducting burnout operations. They connected their
            lines to the Rainbow fire area, which burned in 1999, said Wendell
            Peacock, a spokesman for firefighters working on the blaze.
            On Saturday, crews began a slow burnout operation in Big Canyon
            to keep the fire from blazing through the wide canyon.
            Peacock said rain in the canyon had hindered burnouts in that
            northwest corner of the fire.
            "We want to minimize flooding and runoff in Big Canyon," he
            said.
            Peacock added that storms over the weekend had already caused
            some runoff. He said more rains were predicted for the area, adding
            that showers could either help or hurt work on the fire.
            "It would be nice if we could do a little more with our
            burnouts, but if rain puts out the fire, then we don't have to
            worry about that," Peacock said.
            A Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation team has begun assessing
            damage and developing a rehabilitation strategy for the burned
            area.
            More than 900 people had been working on the fire, but officials
            said almost 400 were released Saturday and Sunday because officials
            are confident they have the upperhand with the blaze. Some fire
            crews were sent straight from the Kinishba fire to the Blue River
            Complex fire also burning in eastern Arizona, Peacock said.
            Waning fire activity also prompted officials to allow residents
            on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation to return home.
            The 5,000 people who fled the fire were allowed back in
            Whiteriver on Friday, four days after the blaze caused their
            evacuation.
            The lightning-caused fire began Sunday east of the ignition
            point for last summer's Rodeo-Chediski fire, the largest wildfire
            in state history.
            That blaze devastated timber on the reservation, charred 469,000
            acres and destroyed 491 homes in surrounding communities.
            ---
            On the Net:
            National Interagency Fire Center: http://www.nifc.gov/
            Kinishba fire: http://www.fireground.com/

            (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


            • #36
              7/21

              WHITERIVER, Ariz. (AP) - Firefighters, aided by rain and higher
              humidity, were making headway in their effort to contain the
              24,000-acre wildfire on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.
              The Kinishba fire, which has cost $4.9 million to fight so far,
              was 75 percent contained Monday night.
              "It's been raining off and on real good for about the last
              three hours. It appears that most of the fire got a good bit of
              rain," Peacock said Monday night.
              Kami Goklish, a spokeswoman for the team fighting the fire, said
              crews hoped to have the fire fully contained by Wednesday.
              Peacock, however, reserved judgment and said he didn't want to
              predict when crews might have the fire contained.
              Though the fire had come within a quarter mile of some houses
              last week, no homes were damaged and none were threatened Monday.
              About 620 people were still working on the fire, but some crews
              were expected to leave Monday, said Goklish.
              On Friday, residents who had been evacuated for four days were
              allowed to return to their Whiteriver-area homes. As many as 5,000
              people had been evacuated.
              The lightning-caused fire began July 13 east of the ignition
              point for last summer's Rodeo-Chediski fire, which charred 469,000
              acres and destroyed 491 homes in surrounding communities.

              BLUE RIVER COMPLEX FIRE:
              ALPINE, Ariz. (AP) - The Blue River Complex fire, which includes
              two lightning-caused fires and a blaze contained in June, was 60
              percent contained Monday.
              The fires were being fought in the Apache-Sitgreaves National
              Forest. The Steeple and Largo portions of the fire complex, which
              started July 13, grew to about 8,014 acres and the contained
              10,618-acre Thomas fire section was being monitored.
              Two campgrounds, the Hannagan Meadow Lodge and an administrative
              site were threatened.
              A 15-mile stretch of Highway 191 was also closed, said Debbie
              Santiago, a fire information officer.
              The blaze had threatened about 30 structures last week, but mild
              winds and fire lines along the upper Blue River eliminated the
              threat.
              About 585 fire personnel were working on the blaze.
              No estimated containment date had been set.
              ---
              On the Net:
              National Interagency Fire Center: http://www.nifc.gov/
              Kinishba fire: http://www.fireground.com/

              (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


              • #37
                7/22

                WHITERIVER, Ariz. (AP) - A 24,000-acre fire on the Fort Apache
                Indian Reservation was 75 percent contained on Tuesday.
                Fire crews patrolled lines and did mop-up after conducting a
                successful burnout operation designed to deny the fire fuel in the
                Big Canyon area Monday.
                One fire official had previously said that firefighters hoped
                for full containment Wednesday, but no official containment date
                has been set. The Kinishba fire, which started with a lightning
                strike on July 13, has cost $5.3 million to fight so far.
                A rehabilitation team has arrived to assess the fire's damage,
                which could include flood danger to residents of the Cedar Creek
                community about 5 miles west of Whiteriver, said Chadeen Palmer, a
                spokeswoman for the crew fighting the fire.
                Burned soil in the area may not absorb moisture when rainstorms
                arrive, which can cause flooding, Palmer said.
                Though the fire had come within a quarter mile of some houses
                last week, no homes were damaged and none were threatened Tuesday.
                About 400 people were still working on the fire, but the number
                was expected to decrease to about 200 by late Tuesday.
                On Friday, residents who had been evacuated for four days were
                allowed to return to their Whiteriver-area homes.
                The blaze began east of the ignition point for last summer's
                Rodeo-Chediski fire, which charred 469,000 acres and destroyed 491
                homes in surrounding communities.

                BLUE RIVER COMPLEX FIRE:
                ALPINE, Ariz. (AP) - The Blue River Complex fire, which includes
                two lightning-caused fires and a blaze contained in June, was 65
                percent contained Tuesday.
                The eastern Arizona fires were being fought in the
                Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. The Steeple and Largo portions
                of the fire complex, which started July 13, remained at about 8,014
                acres.
                Some portions of the fire were in terrain too steep and rugged
                for firefighters to build containment lines, said Debbie Santiago,
                a fire information officer.
                The contained 10,618-acre Thomas fire section was being
                monitored.
                Two campgrounds, the Hannagan Meadow Lodge and an administrative
                site were threatened.
                "The fire is creeping through the cooler fuels like a
                prescribed burn," Santiago said Tuesday. "It's cleaning the
                forest floor with minimal damage."
                About 620 fire personnel were working on the blaze.
                No estimated containment date had been set.
                ---
                On the Net:
                National Interagency Fire Center: http://www.nifc.gov/
                Kinishba fire: http://www.fireground.com/

                (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


                • #38
                  July 23rd

                  PHOENIX (AP) - Three lightning-caused wildfires burned more than
                  1,000 acres in the Tonto National Forest but didn't threaten any
                  homes or buildings, officials said.
                  The fires on the remote New River Mesa about 25 miles northeast
                  of Phoenix were first reported around midday Wednesday.
                  The largest of the three grew to about 800 acres.
                  While crews worked to build a break around the fire, airplanes
                  and helicopters dropped retardant and water on it.
                  The closest buildings were on a ranch 1½ miles away, and the
                  fire burned in the opposite direction.
                  Beside that private property, the rest of the land on that fire
                  belongs to the Tonto National Forest.
                  Rough terrain prevented crews from fighting a 250-acre blaze
                  about four miles away.
                  The third fire was contained at one acre.
                  The fires burned in dry chaparral patches but weren't near tall
                  trees.

                  KINISHBA FIRE
                  WHITERIVER, Ariz. - A 24,000-acre fire on the Fort Apache Indian
                  Reservation was 90 percent contained Wednesday.
                  Fire crews patrolled lines and did mop-up work but were no
                  longer fighting the Kinishba fire, which was helped by heavy
                  monsoon rains.
                  "It looks real good. We're expecting more rain," said Robert
                  Vataha, fire dispatcher for the reservation.
                  Officials expected full containment by Sunday.
                  A rehabilitation team began dropping grass seedlings and hay
                  over areas burned by the fire. The team also assessed potential
                  flood danger to residents of the Cedar Creek and Canyon Day
                  communities near Whiteriver.
                  Burned soil in the area may not absorb moisture when rainstorms
                  arrive, which could cause flooding.
                  The lightning-sparked fire has cost $5.3 million to fight since
                  it began July 13.
                  The blaze began east of the ignition point for last summer's
                  Rodeo-Chediski fire, which charred 469,000 acres and destroyed 491
                  homes in surrounding communities.

                  BLUE RIVER COMPLEX FIRE:
                  ALPINE, Ariz. (AP) - A lodge and part of a highway that had been
                  threatened by a fire in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest were
                  reopened Wednesday.
                  The Blue River Complex fire, which includes two lightning-caused
                  fires and a blaze contained in June, was 70 percent contained
                  Wednesday.
                  Officials reopened Hannagan Meadow Lodge and part of Highway
                  191, which leads to the lodge. A 10-mile stretch of the highway
                  remained closed.
                  Three campgrounds and an administrative site also remained
                  closed.
                  The Steeple and Largo portions of the fire complex, which
                  started July 13, decreased slightly to about 7,971 acres. The
                  contained Thomas fire remained at 10,618 acres.
                  About 550 fire personnel were working on the blaze, but many
                  were expected to be sent home by late Wednesday.
                  No estimated containment date had been set.
                  ---
                  On the Net:
                  National Interagency Fire Center: http://www.nifc.gov/
                  Kinishba fire: http://www.fireground.com/

                  (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


                  • #39
                    July 24th

                    PHOENIX (AP) - Two lightning-caused fires had burned about 1,080
                    acres of desert brush north of Phoenix in the Tonto National Forest
                    by Thursday.
                    The largest of the fires had burned about 830 acres, said Dave
                    Killebrew, a Tonto National Forest spokesman.
                    Killebrew said that the blaze had jumped a fire line in one spot
                    and charred about 30 acres.
                    Firefighters "were able to get in there and they kept it from
                    getting beyond about 30 acres," Killebrew said.
                    It was 5 percent contained, and officials expect full
                    containment by Saturday.
                    The second fire had burned about 250 acres.
                    Both blazes started Wednesday.
                    Neither fire was threatening any structures. The nearest
                    structures included a few homes and a mining operation about two
                    miles away.

                    BLUE RIVER COMPLEX FIRE:
                    ALPINE, Ariz. (AP) - The Blue River Complex fire, which includes
                    two lightning-caused fires and a blaze contained in June, was 70
                    percent contained Thursday.
                    Officials reopened the previously threatened Hannagan Meadow
                    Lodge and part of Highway 191, which leads to the lodge, on
                    Wednesday. A 10-mile stretch of the highway, three campgrounds and
                    an administrative site remained closed.
                    The fire, which was burning pine and mixed conifers in the
                    Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, has cost $5.9 million to fight
                    so far.
                    About 430 fire personnel monitored the fire and cleared away
                    fuels along the highway Thursday.
                    The Steeple and Largo portions of the fire complex, which
                    started July 13, remained at about 7,900 acres. The contained
                    Thomas fire was 10,618 acres.

                    KINISHBA FIRE
                    WHITERIVER, Ariz. - A 24,500-acre fire on the Fort Apache Indian
                    Reservation was 90 percent contained Thursday.
                    Crews patrolled lines and did mop-up work but were no longer
                    fighting the Kinishba fire.
                    A rehabilitation team dropped grass seedlings and hay over areas
                    burned by the fire. The team also assessed potential flood danger
                    to residents of the Cedar Creek and Canyon Day communities near
                    Whiteriver.
                    Burned soil in the area may not absorb moisture when rainstorms
                    arrive, which could cause flooding and erosion.
                    The lightning-sparked fire has cost $5.3 million to fight since
                    it began July 13.
                    The blaze began east of the ignition point for last summer's
                    Rodeo-Chediski fire, which charred 469,000 acres and destroyed 491
                    homes in surrounding communities.
                    ---
                    On the Net:
                    National Interagency Fire Center: http://www.nifc.gov/
                    Kinishba fire: http://www.fireground.com/

                    (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


                    • #40
                      7/27

                      PHOENIX (AP) - Firefighters have contained the 866-acre New fire
                      and are on track to also contain the nearby River fire, officials
                      said Sunday.
                      The two lightning-caused fires burned desert brush in the Tonto
                      National Forest north of Phoenix.
                      The River fire had burned about 270 acres, and was 75 percent
                      contained Sunday afternoon.
                      Forest spokesman Dave Killebrew said one Hot Shot crew continued
                      to work that fire and expected full containment by Sunday evening.
                      No homes or structures were threatened.

                      (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


                      • #41
                        By ARTHUR H. ROTSTEIN
                        Associated Press Writer
                        TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - While dozens of firefighters tried to
                        contain a wildfire that devastated a mountaintop community earlier
                        this summer, a smaller group was focused on a much more delicate
                        but nevertheless important task.
                        Investigators using a combination of science and old-fashioned
                        detective work were looking for clues that would answer the key
                        questions: How did the Aspen fire start? And why?
                        The Aspen fire began June 17 and grew to eventually cover nearly
                        85,000 acres of the Coronado National Forest before being contained
                        July 15. It destroyed 322 homes in and around the vacation hamlet
                        of Summerhaven.
                        With any wildfire or building fire, investigators must zero in
                        on the point of origin before hoping to determine the cause.
                        In the Aspen fire, a lookout tower spotter saw smoke and
                        provided coordinates when the fire was small. Firefighters were on
                        the scene when the blaze had spread across less than 30 acres.
                        "So right there you've got a visual," said Suzanne Romero, a
                        Forest Service fire investigator attached to the Coconino National
                        Forest in northern Arizona. "You can start at that point."
                        Then comes more meticulous work. Investigators walk in clockwise
                        and counterclockwise circles near where the fire is believed to
                        have started, looking for clues. These can include charring, the
                        angle of charring, how hot the fire burned, and what happened to
                        nearby trees, Romero said.
                        Slope and char marks tell investigators the fire's direction,
                        she said.
                        Detective David Conto, a Pima County sheriff's fire
                        investigator, said the angles and depths of the charring also
                        provide clues.
                        "Different angles with different slopes mean different things:
                        what direction the fire's moving, whether it's backing down ... or
                        going up-slope," Conto said.
                        Then there are things like small materials on the ground,
                        including grass stems, pine cones, rocks and pine needles.
                        "You can look at and see which way the fire is moving or comes
                        from based on which way the stems fall, or the char on the rocks,
                        or the way the little grass stubs come up," he said.
                        At some location the indicators point in different directions,
                        and "that starts gearing you to thinking here's the area of
                        confusion, which is possibly where the fire started," she said.
                        Investigators also map their findings on sketch pads.
                        "You keep narrowing your ring of the area of size that you're
                        looking at," Conto said. "You're tracking back the area of origin
                        to the smallest area you can determine."
                        On the Aspen fire, investigators narrowed the start zone to a
                        900-square-foot area within 10 days and concluded that the fire was
                        caused by humans, ruling out lightning.
                        Romero said 99 percent of the time she can tell a lightning
                        strike by its unique characteristics, from a fresh strike on a tree
                        or widely scattered pieces of fresh wood, to dripping pitch or a
                        tree blown in half and burning midway up the trunk.
                        Aspen fire investigators found no signs characteristic of
                        lightning strikes.
                        But they have yet to settle on a culprit. They haven't concluded
                        whether the fire was arson or an accident, and they haven't found
                        the person responsible.
                        On some fires, investigators may determine through a sighting or
                        contact that someone was camping, and track the person through
                        records.
                        Through interviews, "people can all of a sudden realize that
                        they saw something or realize they may have made a mistake," Conto
                        said.
                        Investigators identified several people who were on a trail the
                        day the fire started on Mount Lemmon, northeast of Tucson. None are
                        considered suspects, but they may have seen something helpful,
                        Forest Service spokeswoman Heidi Schewel said.
                        She said the investigation remains very active.
                        "They continue to move forward," Schewel said. "They will
                        continue until they reach a dead end or until they identify the
                        person or persons responsible."
                        ---
                        On the Net:
                        National Interagency Fire Center: http://www.nifc.gov

                        (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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