WILLIAMS, Ariz. – A lightning-caused wildfire in the Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest is being allowed to burn in order to improve forest health. And with warmer, drier conditions, the fire is growing.
The Bert Fire began May 28 at approximately 4 p.m. and has burned about 2,175 acres. The fire is burning in pinion-juniper fuels near the junction of Forest Road 144 and Highway 180 near Ebert Mountain and approximately 10 miles southeast of the community of Valle, according to information from the U.S. Forest Service.
The fire is being allowed to burn, with precautions, to reduce hazardous fuel accumulations, improve wildlife habitat and restore grasslands and overall forest health.
As of Monday, smoke has moved to the northeast away from residential areas and is expected to clear each afternoon. However, some smoke may settle along part of Highway 180 in the early morning hours.
The speed limit has been reduced to 45 mph along a portion of Highway 180. Motorists in the area are asked to drive with extreme caution when passing through the area where fire personnel at working.
The fire area is being monitored closely to ensure all lines hold the fire within the predetermined boundaries. Crews are strengthening containment lines and preparing for higher winds.
Nearly 80 firefighters have been assigned to the fire, including a Type 3 incident command team, one Type 1 crew, one Type 2 crew, one 11-person fuels crew, two Type 3 engines, one Type 6 engine, a bulldozer and a resource adviser.
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