Springs Fire grows despite recent rain, plays role in ecosystem

Image combines two photos: In the foreground, a firefighter does prep work for managed fire, in the background is a low intensity managed fire, Kaibab National Forest, Williams Ranger District, Arizona, on July 19 and 18, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Kaibab National Forest re Springs Fire, St. George News

WILLIAMS, Ariz., — The Springs Fire on the Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest has slowly continued to grow to 240 acres, despite recent precipitation. The wildfire, which was started by lightning July 2, is located 9 miles southeast of Williams near Davenport Knoll, just west of Summit Mountain.

Fire managers continue to pursue a number of objectives: first and foremost, both the safety of the general public and firefighters on the ground. At the same time, teams are allowing natural fire to play its role in the ecosystem, enhancing wildlife habitat and improving forest health.

Recent actions to manage the fire have included: removing small trees and brush away from infrastructure, such as power lines and communication sites, protecting fire-sensitive archeological sites and range fences.

Burning around perimeter roads, also known as blacklining, to limit the fire’s growth in specific directions has already occurred on sections of Forest Road 354, and future operations could potentially include County Road 73, also known as Perkinsville Road or the “South Road,” and Forest Road 110 depending on the movement of the fire.

About 15 fire personnel are currently assigned to the Springs Fire. Resources include a fuels crew, one engine and one dozer, all from the Williams Ranger District. Depending on future movement of the fire, additional resources could be called in to assist.

While very little smoke has been visible over the last few weeks, drier conditions in the forecast are expected to potentially increase fire activity and smoke production. Fire managers expect the fire to remain at low to moderate intensity as it moves through the forest, which should keep smoke production and impacts at relatively low levels. Due to prevailing winds, smoke will largely be pushed to the northeast, toward Sherwood Forest and Garland Prairie vicinities. At this time, there are no closures associated with the Springs Fire.

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