Soldier Basin Fire Update - May 22, 2013 7pm
Incident: Soldier Basin Fire Wildfire
Location: Sierra Vista Ranger District, Coronado National Forest, 5 miles east of the Nogales Airport
Estimated Size: approximately 7,500 acres
Cause: human caused, under investigation
Resources Assigned: approximately 205 personnel including 3 helicopters, 11 engines, 2 Type 1 hotshot crews, 4 Type 2 hand crews, 6 water tenders, and miscellaneous overhead
Fire Behavior: moderate with some short uphill runs
Terrain: Steep, rocky
Fuel: grass and brush (mesquite and oak)
Structures Threatened: Currently none
Thursday’s Weather Forecast: Variable southwest winds 10-15 mph gusting to 18. Temperatures will range between 85 to 95 degrees. Relative humidity will range from 4 to 8%.
Objectives: Keep the fire south and west of Flux Canyon, west of Forest Road 49, north of the Solder Basin drainage, and east of the Coronado National Forest boundary.
Summary: Todays activities saw lively fire activity in some portions of the fire. In Flux Canyon at the fires north end, a wind driven slop over of fire lines occurred and fire managers brought in both single engine air tankers as well as two heavy air tankers to drop retardant in a successful effort to protect structures in that area. This slop over consisted of about 40 acres but crews and aircraft caught it before it crossed the 812 road.
Thursday, fire personnel plan to continue burnout operations along the north and north east flanks to tie the main body of the fire in with prepared lines. Area residents should expect to see continued fire growth and smoke as firefighters continue aerial ignitions over the next 3-4 days. These operations will be conducted both with aerial ignition and fire fighters using drip torches on the ground. There will be increased smoke along the north flank due to burnout operations, particularly late in the afternoon. Fire activity will be highly visible, especially at night. There is no anticipated threat to structures. However as today’s fire activity demonstrated, the fire can be unpredictable at times. Property owners can find numerous resources on preparing for and living with wildfire in Arizona at http://wildlandfire.az.gov.
Travel Advisory: Firefighters continue to conduct fireline related burnouts and are advising motorists using FR 4698 and FR 49 into Soldier Basin to be prepared for possible delays due to these operations, fire personnel, and fire suppression vehicles working along the road. Fire personnel will escort vehicles through the area with pilot vehicles. It is recommended that motorists use alternate roads or avoid the area altogether until these operations are complete.
Smoke: Residents east of the fire will likely experience increased smoke impacts over the next few days. Smoke is likely to settle into canyons and valleys and other low-lying areas when air temperatures cool at night. Warmer temperatures and light winds usually help with smoke dispersal during the day. Breathing smoke is not healthy for anyone, but some people are at greater risk, including people with heart or lung disease, children, and the elderly. If it looks smoky, you may want to limit or eliminate exercise or other outdoor activities. For additional resources, please visit http://wildlandfire.az.gov/links.asp#Smoke.