Locust Fire grows slowly; continues to benefit forest resources

FREDONIA — The Locust Fire continues to slowly grow near Rainbow Rim Trail on the North Kaibab Ranger District. The lightning-caused fire is located 39 miles south-southeast of Fredonia, Ariz., and northeast of Locust Point. The fire is approximately 37 acres in size and forest officials are managing the fire for resource objectives.

Over the coming weeks, fire crews will manage the fire within a 3,283-acre boundary. Roads, trails, and ridges will help crews maintain low to moderate fire spread within the management area.

The objectives fire managers are working to achieve include returning fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem, reducing accumulated fuels on the forest floor, recycling nutrients into the soil, enhancing wildlife habitat, and protecting the area from future high-intensity wildland fires. To help accomplish these objectives, fire crews are removing vegetation around designated perimeter roads. These and other predefined locations are known as Management Action Points (MAPs) where actions will be taken to slow, redirect, or prevent fire spread, to accomplish stated objectives.

Fire activity consists of low and slow surface fire with four to eight inch flame lengths. The Locust Fire is spreading in all directions but mainly to the east-southeast. For those planning a trip to this area of the forest, please be cautious as smoke may be present in and around the Rainbow Rim Trail during the day and overnight.

The weather forecast shows warm and dry conditions. Fire activity will likely increase as fuels continue to dry in the fire area and smoke may be visible from Arizona Highway 67 and Highway 89A. No road closures are in effect. Motorists are reminded to exercise caution when in the area.