Locust Fire update, preparation for weekend thunderstorms

Stock image, St. George News

FREDONIA, Ariz. — During the last 24-hour operational period, North Zone firefighters continued to monitor weather, fire behavior and fire progression, as well as scout and prepare for firing opportunities along the perimeter boundaries of the Locust Fire being managed to improve forest health on the Kaibab Plateau.

In anticipation of predicted thunderstorm activity later in the week, firefighters are using burnout operations to manage risk. This firing technique allows firefighters to add sufficient depth to control lines in order to ensure the fire remains within the established boundaries by reinforcing perimeter lines in anticipation of higher winds and the potential for increased fire behavior.

“Burnout operations allow us to manage risk by securing perimeter boundaries and reducing the overall complexity of the main fire,” Dave Robinson, North Zone fuels specialist, said. “Burnout operations allow us to secure our lines and remove fuels between control lines and the advancing flaming front.”

The lightning-caused Locust Fire was discovered by fire personnel June 15 at around noon during an aerial reconnaissance flight. It is located in the Kaibab National Forest near Locust Point and the Rainbow Rim Trail, and is currently 423 acres.

Smoke may be visible from Arizona Highway 67 and Highway 89A, Rainbow Rim and some interior Forest Service roads.

No road/trail closures are in effect. Forest Service roads remain open. However, hazard signs are posted, and motorists should exercise caution when visiting the area.

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