Springs, Key Hole fires: District considers managing lightning-caused fires

Stock image, St. George News

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — The Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest in Arizona is considering managing two lightning-caused fires to benefit forest resources. Both fires are producing smoke that is visible from nearby communities and highways.

Map indicates location of Summit Mountain for point of reference. | Map courtesy of Google Maps, St. George News | Click map to enlarge
Map indicates location of Summit Mountain for point of reference | Map courtesy of Google Maps, St. George News | Click map to enlarge

The Springs Fire is a little more than an acre in size and is located just east of Davenport Knoll, about 2 miles south of Summit Mountain east of County Road 73.

The Key Hole Fire, which started more than a week ago, has been growing very slowly due to monsoon rains but has reached about 17 acres in size. It is located just north of Key Hole Sink near Duck Lake.

Both lightning-caused wildfires are picking up in activity today due to drier conditions and higher winds, so smoke is becoming increasing visible. Kaibab National Forest managers want to assure members of the public who may see this smoke that the fires are being monitored by fire crews and that they are being considered for possible management to achieve resource objectives such as fuels reduction, wildlife habitat improvement and community protection.

“We look at a number of factors before making a decision to suppress or manage any particular wildfire,” James Pettit, fire management officer for the Williams Ranger District, said. “These two naturally-started fires appear to be good candidates for management because of their locations and the weather pattern currently in place, so we plan to monitor them over the coming days to see if they continue to spread on their own.”

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