WILLIAMS — The Springs Fire on the Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest picked up in activity yesterday due to drier conditions and higher winds, growing to about 80 acres in size. Meanwhile, the Key Hole Fire remained at 17 acres in size, smoldering and creeping slowly through pine needles and other forest debris.
Fire managers are considering allowing both lightning-caused wildfires to continue growing in order to meet ecological and other resource and community protection objectives. The Springs Fire is located just east of Davenport Knoll about 2 miles south of Summit Mountain east of County Road 73. The Key Hole Fire is located just north of Key Hole Sink near Duck Lake north of Interstate 40.
Yesterday, the Springs Fire put up smoke visible from County Road 73 and from Interstate 40 in the Parks area west to Williams. Due to its increased growth, fire managers used management ignitions along perimeter roads in order to reinforce boundaries established for the fire. Specifically, fire crews used drip torches to burn fuels along forest roads 57 and 354 in order to help define a northeastern perimeter for the growth of the Springs Fire. Smoke may still be present on the 57 and 354 roads in the area, so motorists are asked to use caution when traveling there over the next couple of days.
Today, firefighters will begin additional work in preparation for the Springs Fire’s likely growth. Prep work will include lining range fences, aspen enclosures, and other potentially fire-sensitive resources in the area. This important work ensures that as the fire spreads naturally, fire managers will be able to allow it to grow and treat acres without the risk of negatively impacting these other values in the area. Fire crews will also be monitoring the Key Hole Fire, but growth is less likely due to its location and level of activity over the last several days.
There are no closures in effect related to the Springs or Key Hole fires. Smoke will likely continue to be visible from the Springs Fire. Kaibab National Forest managers want to assure members of the public who may see this smoke that the fire is being monitored and staffed by firefighting personnel and that it is a good candidate for management to achieve resource objectives such as fuels reduction, wildlife habitat improvement, and community protection because of its location and the fuels in which it is burning.