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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news April 15, 2014

6/29/2013 6:03:00 AM
Lightning sparks small wildfires in Prescott region; Doce fire 92 percent contained
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily CourierAn Aircrane helicopter drops a load of water on a small wildfire near the Doise Pit Area Friday evening outside of Prescott.
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
An Aircrane helicopter drops a load of water on a small wildfire near the Doise Pit Area Friday evening outside of Prescott.
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
Smoke from a fire burning on Tonto Mountain fills the air Friday evening outside of Prescott.
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
Smoke from a fire burning on Tonto Mountain fills the air Friday evening outside of Prescott.
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - Lightning sparked several wildfires Friday afternoon as the first monsoon clouds floated over Prescott, although some of the callers might have been seeing dust devils.

Firefighters confirmed by 6 p.m. Friday that lightning caused at least two small wildfires, Prescott National Forest Information Officer Debbie Maneely said. One was 3 to 5 acres in size and located west of Spruce Mountain just south of Prescott. Crews were hiking into the fire and two helicopters were dropping water on it. Another small fire was confirmed in the Camp Wood area by the Cross-U Ranch.

Firefighters also were spreading out to search remote areas Friday afternoon in response to calls about smoke in the Doce Pit area, the Woodchute area of Mingus Mountain east of Prescott, Perkinsville Road on the east side of Chino Valley, and near Jerome on private land, Maneely said. Some of the smoke reports came from the public as well as fire lookouts and a Forest Service airplane surveying the area.

"The good thing is, we have the resources still here on the Doce fire so we've got enough resources to respond to all of them," Maneely said. The Prescott Forest hopes to keep some extra resources around through the Fourth of July, she added.

Scattered rains fell in the region Friday afternoon including at least a 10-minute soaking over the southern portion of the Doce fire burned area west of Prescott. A large dust devil formed late Friday afternoon near Doce Pit near the origin of the 6,767-acre wildfire, which ignited on June 18 and was 92 percent contained Friday.

Temperatures hit 103 degrees at the Prescott airport Friday alongside wind gusts of 38 mph and relative humidity up to 30 percent. Record-level heat is forecast to continue through Sunday, with temperatures reaching 103 degrees today and 102 degrees Sunday in Prescott. A slight chance of showers is forecast for Monday and Tuesday.

The Yavapai County Health Department is advising people to keep hydrated, stay out of the sun and stay in an air-conditioned building. If power goes out, the county will publicize cooling station locations and people can call 442-5509.

Firefighters continued rehabilitation and mop-up efforts on the Doce fire Friday, including constructing waterbar, chipping and scattering brush, clearing the fire line of snags and rotten logs, and searching for underground burning roots near the fire line.

At the Central Yavapai Fire District Board meeting on Thursday, a man whose home was threatened by the Doce fire thanked firefighters for their hard work.

"I've been a resident of the Sundown Acres area for 65 years basically, a long, long time," Jim Buchanan said. "Our property was one of the properties that had active fire on it."

"I want to thank the firefighters for their courage and their skill in stopping the fire not only for our home, but for all the homes out there," Buchanan said. "It was miraculous. I thank you and the staff for doing what you do for us."

Fire command warned residents Friday that they might see ash whirls ranging from two to 100 feet tall that look like smoke that are created when cool air pushes down and hot air rises, lifting ash from the ground.

Several Williamson Valley residents called Prescott Fire to report seeing smoke near the base of Granite Mountain at 3:42 p.m. Friday afternoon. The Doce fire burned in that area.

Prescott firefighters investigated the area, determined there was no active fire, and alerted the Prescott National Forest Service that the area residents called about was possibly outside the containment area.

"It sounds like the winds are kicking up some dust and stirring up ash from the Doce fire, and people seeing it from a distance can think it's smoke," Prescott Firefighter Conrad Jackson said.

At 2:42 p.m., Central Yavapai answered a call about a wildland fire from Prescott Valley residents in the 1300 block of Ringtail Drive and found one-tenth of an acre grass fire sparked by a lightning strike that they quickly put out, CYFD Battalion Chief Cougan Carrothers said.

Earlier Friday, Chino Valley firefighters put out a fire along West Road 2 South.

Meanwhile, strong winds from a microburst in Prescott knocked down a 60- to 70-foot pine tree that took out a power line at Curry and Gurley streets, Jackson said.

The Prescott National Forest emergency fire closure and Stage II fire restrictions remain in place, which means no fires are allowed and smoking is allowed only inside buildings or vehicles. All types of fires and flame-producing devices are banned throughout public and private land in Yavapai County, including any kind of fireworks.

Granite Basin Road remains closed to the public because of the Doce fire and can be accessed only by residents with valid identification. For information about the Doce fire, call 777-5682.

Alto Pit and Dosie Pit remain closed. Recreation residences managed under permit by the Prescott National Forest remain closed and a map of closures is available at the Prescott National Forest webpage at: www.fs.usda.gov/prescott.

The human-caused fire remains under investigation. About 89 people are fighting the fire including, two hand crews, five engines, and two helicopters. So far, it has cost $6,628,586 to fight the Doce fire.

Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, June 30, 2013
Article comment by: S.O.S. Save Our Homes! New Firestorm!

Large fire wall headed for Peeples Valley/ Model Creek. Please send all help possible. We helped save WV. Please save us. Good Night and good luck. have to go pack, and then go fight. 5thGenNat out.

Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013
Article comment by: L T

Amazing how mundane so many of these posts are!

Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013
Article comment by: The Rev

Located far to the east of town Carnivorous. Things look better today but last night we sighted a smoke plume (no mistake) closer than preferred.

Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013
Article comment by: Blood sucking leaches Clarification

RE my unedited rambling un caffinated post this morning. I just reread it, and it struck me that it appeared I was insinuating that the "Old School forest hands" were acting in such a careless manner as some small portion of our kids do. I was actually trying to convey that they roam around in the wee hours of the morning putting out the kids party fires, just as I do. Thank you to these Old School Foresters. Too bad you are being replaced by "book lernt" fuzz faced C.O.'s who don't know their posterior from a hole in the ground on the battlefield.

Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013
Article comment by: Carnivorous Buttock Fly

Yes, best of luck to all. Where are you ‘The Rev’, in a general geographic sense? For some reason, I have been under the assumption that you were in the area NW of Prescott, possibly along the WV corridor or near Iron Springs Rd.

I don’t mind these lightning-caused fires so much. As long as the fires do not threaten human life or private property and will, either burn out on their own (best scenario), or that the conditions are right, so that they can be managed so that they do not affect person or private property.

Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013
Article comment by: Attention:@ MIKE B.

What is a 'collage' exam?.....................LOL (have someone show you how to use the caps lock key)

Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013
Article comment by: Smoke Fire

Can we just have one accurate fire information site , where ALL fires have been reported and no commentary allowed ? None of the fire related websites have this . Not USFS and nothing state or local that I can find ? It would sure be useful for all residents of Yavapai county to be able to check into during this extreme fire condition , fire season . How about it Courier , any chance you could practice some responsible reporting for a change ? ... I didnt think so .

Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013
Article comment by: az native

when they say "All types of fires and flame-producing devices are banned throughout public and private land" is that including no bbq grills??? i think that is a bit much.but i guess there are many ignorant people out there that don't know what there doing and is careless. very aggravating when i do most of my cooking on the grill in the summer time... sigh........

Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013
Article comment by: Good Neighbor

Apparent fire, on Middlebrook near Copper Basin and Highland. Some walkers said it's a house fire, house burned to the ground but it's contained, they had brush. A lot of smoke right now and Highland was blocked off, cars turning around on Copper Basin.

Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013
Article comment by: Blood Sucking Leaches

"Good Forest Management" has been turned into an oxymoron these last 40 years. For decades the low information cannabis confused ecofreaks have held sway over our forests, implementing management mandates that result in total destruction of vast areas of our state ad infinum ad nauseum. Stop logging, stop ranching, stop vehicular traffic, close all roads and trails, stop all natural fires, stop all camping, let it all overgrow into a tinderbox, and then wonder what happened when said tinderbox blows. Realizing their error, they then spend millions of dollars of taxpayers money to "treat" said forest with large machinery slinging massive chains that destroy all in their path, vegetation and animal alike. Here's a novel concept open the roads and camp areas back up, let the people who own the forest USE the forest, and this will create NATURAL fire breaks, causing FAR LESS destruction than current mismanagement practices. Charge a MODEST use fee, then you are getting the forest thinned for free, plus making money for government coffers, instead of bleeding the people dry through excess taxation, then utilizing the peoples money to keep them from their own forest while mismanaging it into oblivion. It looks like Hiroshima out there. WAKE UP. BTW, lets put the blame for the fire where it belongs. For years,(off and on as time permits) I have woken up early on Sat, Sun, and Mon. to go put out the local kids bonfires. They go out to these spots and booze and drug it up, then drive off and leave bonfires burning. There are a couple of old school forest service hands that do the same thing. I did not make it out there that weekend, and the partiers fire smoldered until Tue. when the winds hit. That simple, cut and dried. Thank you for listening, I will step down from my soapbox. 5th Generation Native

Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013
Article comment by: More Fires

A lightening caused fire did start yesterday by the Gold King Mine in Jerome ( Mingus Mt. ) . The local volunteer FD , and crews from the Verde Valley responded and have put it out .

Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013
Article comment by: MIKE B.


Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013
Article comment by: Laurel Denton

And that would be Josh Mountain not Tonto. Good Grief. But so glad they got the fire out!

Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013
Article comment by: Here we go again

As has been debated before, the county mis-named it DOSIE PIT, when it really has always been DOCE PIT. The county puts up one sign in the area, but all of the maps have always referred to it as DOCE.

Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013
Article comment by: The Rev

Not that it matter more butt this one is coming at me. Best of luck to all.

Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013
Article comment by: @ get it right

Not dosie PITS...dosie PIT. Even you can't get it right genious.

Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013
Article comment by: NO ! IT WASNT

started by lightning, I am going to jump to a conclusion that it was started by smokers and shooters.

Do I sound like every other typical courier commenter?

Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013
Article comment by: tired of it all

And the city of Prescott still wants to set off fireworks...brilliant!!

Posted: Friday, June 28, 2013
Article comment by: Carnivorous Buttock Fly

It is Cory, not Curry. The tree fell on the Frank’s Automotive building. From the roadway, it doesn’t appear to have caused much or any damage to the building.

Posted: Friday, June 28, 2013
Article comment by: Carnivorous Buttock Fly

I am curious to know if the fire that is west of Spruce Mtn. is on the east or west side of Senator Hwy., if it is near any of the camps or residences in the area and if it happens to be in an area that has undergone a lot of the good forest management that has been occurring in that area the past ten years or so, or if it has occurred in an untreated area.

I am glad that the personnel and resources are available to handle all of these incidents. Although, it is too bad that so many had to be here to begin with, to fight a human-caused fire. It looks like the Prescott area could be facing the busiest fire season that it has had in quite some time.

Posted: Friday, June 28, 2013
Article comment by: Get it Right

Its DOSIE PITS not Doce.

Posted: Friday, June 28, 2013
Article comment by: Curry? & Gurley?

Could it be that it was Cory & Gurley, where the tree went down?

But still, many thanks to all those who were envolved in fighting this fire!

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