6/29/2013 11:16:00 AM Firefighters continue to attack Doce Fire, wildland fires sparked by lightning
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
Smoke from a fire burning on Tonto Mountain fills the air Friday evening outside of Prescott.
Lisa Irish The Daily Courier
Firefighters continued to attack the Doce Fire on Saturday morning and eight wildland fires sparked by lightning strikes across the forest on Friday, Prescott National Forest Information Officer Debbie Maneely said.
"With the help of aircraft all fires were located and assessed for values at risk, rate of spread, fuel conditions and potential," Maneely said. "Fires ranged from a single tree in Williamson Valley to a grass fire along I-17."
Prescott residents could smell smoke Friday night and Saturday morning coming from the West Spruce Mountain Fire northeast of West Spruce Mountain and just south of Prescott, Central West Zone Incident Management Team Spokesman Brian Grant said early Saturday morning.
"The fire west of Spruce Mountain, that one put up a lot of smoke," Grant said. "Firefighters are attacking that fire with support from helicopters dropping water. Lightning started it. That's the one that people have been seeing, and it's stirred up a lot of worry."
Firefighters are still fighting fires in the Camp Wood area by the Cross-U Ranch and northeast of the Woodchute Wilderness.
The Woodchute Fire has burned 32 acres, the West Spruce Fire northeast of West Spruce Mountain was at 22 acres, and the Cross U Fire in Camp Wood was 3 acres early Saturday morning, Maneely said.
"Firefighters worked through the night to secure a line around the perimeter of these fires, halting the forward rate of spread while evening temperatures were cool," Maneely said.
With the predicted weather and current condition of the forest, Fire Managers have requested addition resources to allow for adequate personnel on forest for initial attack and fire preparedness, Maneely said.
More than 100 firefighters are in town, and they're checking out calls of smoke and jumping in to help as the calls come in, Grant said.
The Doce Fire has burned 6,767 acres seven miles northwest of Prescott in Granite Mountain Wilderness, is 94 percent contained Saturday morning, and has cost $6.7 million to fight so far. The man-caused fire, which started Tuesday, June 18 in the Dosie Pit area remains under investigation.
On Saturday, firefighters will continue rehabilitation and mop-up efforts, including constructing waterbar, chipping and scattering brush, clearing the fire line of snags, rotten logs and searching for underground burning roots near the fire line. Firefighters also are available to attack of any new local fires.
About 90 fire personnel including two hand crews, six engines and a helicopter will be attacking the fire. So far, there has only been one reported injury, a minor eye abrasion.
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.
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.
Stage II fire restrictions prohibit:
1. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or stove fire, including fires in developed campgrounds and improved sites.
2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building.
3. Discharging a firearm, air rifle, or gas gun, except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal, or tribal laws and regulations.
4. Operating any internal combustion engine from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
5. Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with an open flame.
The public can obtain additional fire information via the following:
Arizona Fire Restrictions http://firerestrictions.us/az/
Arizona Fire Prevention & Information (fire restrictions & red flag alerts) http://wildlandfire.az.gov/
Fire Restrictions on Public Lands in Arizona and New Mexico 1-877-864-6985
Prescott NF Website www.fs.usda.gov/prescott
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.