Wind speed are expected to increase becoming breezy tonight and high tomorrow across northern Arizona. The critical fire condition could continue Friday.
NOAA has issued a Red Flag warning for Thursday beginning at 11 a.m. running through 8 p.m. in northern Arizona. Today winds will be from the south 16 to 21-mph decreasing to 9 to 14-mph after midnight. Sustained west winds in excess of 30-mph with gusts over 45 are expected late morning through the evening hours Thursday.
Increased wind may combine with low humidity to produce areas of critical fire weather conditions across north central and eastern Arizona Thursday afternoon. The high winds will make travel of high profile vehicles difficult. It is recommended that you slow down and drive with care if you are traveling. Some areas of blowing dust may reduce visibility.
With the increased danger of forest fire, camp fires are not recommended. Use gas stoves if you intend to camp around Williams or Flagstaff.
WILLIAMS – Now is the time to get the tackle box ready, grab the fishing rods, and explore northern Arizona for some spring fishing.
Here are some updates on fish stocking activities in this region:
About 9,000 rainbow trout, or around 5,000 pounds, were recently stocked in Ashurst Lake. Folks fishing at Ashurst Lake started catching fish shortly after stocking. They were using small spinners such as rooster tails and small spoons.
Kaibab Lake, north of Williams, will receive a similar load of fish. About 9,000 fish measuring up to 15 inches.
Trout stocked in Lower Lake Mary during March and April were up to 15 inches long.
Catfish were dropped recently into City Reservoir in Williams and Frances Short Pond in Flagstaff. Chunks of hot dogs make great catfish bait.
“We have so much water in northern Arizona this year, we are trying to get fish into as many lakes as we can,” said Chuck Benedict, a fish biologist at AZGFD. “We want to encourage people to come up Memorial Day weekend, enjoy our great weather and fish. Typically Flagstaff and Williams are great for trout in the spring, and in reality, bass, pike, catfish, and crappie fishing are the best during the summer.”
Some tips to remember before heading out to fish:
Licenses now include trout and two-pole privileges (no separate stamps needed) and costs $37 for residents and $55 for nonresidents. The license is now valid for one year from the day you buy it — not just for the calendar year.
Anyone 10 years and older will need a fishing license. Youth licenses only cost $5 and are available for youth ages 10-17.
Review the 2017 Arizona Fishing Regulations — they are available online, or at most license dealers as a booklet that you can throw in your tackle box. The regulations have all the information you need to fish in Arizona.
Some lakes have special restrictions or regulations: catch-and-release only, daily limits, or the type of bait allowed.
Do not transport live fish or bait. Illegal stocking is a big problem and impacts the department’s efforts to manage the state’s fisheries. In some cases, fish like northern pike and bass have been illegally stocked and have had detrimental impacts to trout fishing and native fish populations.
Locations of these waters:
Frances Short Pond is located just northwest of downtown Flagstaff and is a great place to walk or ride a bike and try your luck.
Lower Lake Mary is about 8 miles from Flagstaff on Forest Road 3; Ashurst is about 12 miles down the road from Lower Mary.
Kaibab Lake is near Williams and off Highway 64, just north of Interstate 40.
WILLIAMS – Run For The Wall left Williams this morning missing the experience of 2011. In 2011 they arrived in the snow. This year the snow did not start until about 7:30 p.m. after the Vietnam Veterans were long gone.
Snow started about 7:30 with a few flakes falling. It built up to a full-blown snow by 8 p.m. in Williams. It ran until 10. Reports of an inch of snow by 8 were reported outside Williams. An amateur radio operator reported zero visibility on Highway 64.
Tomorrow the sun is expected to shine and temperatures are expected to rise. Tomorrow the high is expected to be 59 rising to the 70s through next Thursday. The lows at night are predicted to be around 40-degrees.
WILLIAMS – While the annual Run For The Wall was greeted with cold wind and rain last night, the sun shined on the group as they left this morning. Williams is the first stop on their annual trek to the Vietnam Memorial Wall. It seems as though Williams has thrown every weather condition imaginable at the group.
The American Legion hosted a dinner for their arrival and Wild West Junction provided a breakfast for their departure.
Mayor John Moore greets veterans of the 2017 Run For The Wall
The Run For The Wall was started years ago as a healing ride for Vietnam Veterans. In recent years they have welcomed veterans from other conflicts and even civilians who support their mission. That mission is to bring awareness to the POWs and MIAs who have not returned from the conflicts that the United States has been involved in.
We would like to remind motorists to watch for the road guards for the Run For The Wall. Their job is to make sure these heroes arrive safe in Washington. Please be patient and follow their instructions. They will not take a big bite out of your day.
WILLIAMS – Rose Newbold, Director of Recreation in Williams, witnessed the release of about a thousand pounds of catfish into the Buckskinner reservoir on a windy Wednesday. Arizona Game and Fish released a couple hundred catfish into the pond this afternoon.The steep drop in the road down to Buckskinner prevented the delivery truck from reaching the reservoir. So the Arizona Game and Fish personnel had to dump them into a regular truck and tote them down to Buckskinner for release.
WILLIAMS – Bearizona has opened its much anticipated 6,000-square-foot restaurant, Canyonlands. This themed restaurant features soaring canyon walls and ancient ruins that allow diners to immerse themselves in the true spirit of the Southwest. The expansive two-story covered deck includes priceless views of the park’s spectacular jaguar exhibit, which features a 25 foot waterfall.
Canyonlands Restaurant will open its doors at 10:30 a.m. and will close 2 hours after the park’s posted closing time. This restaurant is only accessible to park guests and annual pass holders.
Bearizona is a wildlife park which invites guests to experience a scenic three-mile drive in their own vehicle, witnessing North American animals in their natural environment. In Fort Bearizona, visitors can leisurely stroll along winding walkways through the forest for an up-close view of even more animal antics. Finally, guests are encouraged to catch the complimentary Birds of Prey free flight show, where they will come face to face with hawks, owls and other raptors.
WILLIAMS – A contractor working for the Kaibab National Forest will begin a road maintenance project May 21 on Forest Road 110 on the Williams Ranger District in order to ensure the popular route continues to meet Forest Service road standards.
This work will include basic maintenance, replacement of gravel, and cleaning out of culverts. The section of FR 110 to receive this maintenance work begins at the intersection of County Road 73, also known as Perkinsville Road, and continues until just before the intersection with FR 109.
Forest Service road engineers expect the road maintenance work to continue for about four weeks and likely be complete by June 19. While the road will not be closed during the project, motorists can expect delays and should exercise caution while traveling through the area due to varying road conditions and the presence of heavy equipment.
FR 110 is used frequently by Kaibab National Forest visitors to access camping, hunting and other recreational opportunities. Forest visitors seeking a spot for dispersed camping are encouraged to consider other routes on the Williams Ranger District during the duration of the road maintenance work given the likelihood of dust and noise near the project area.
Forest Service engineers regularly evaluate and monitor road conditions across the forest to determine priorities for work. FR 110 has been in need of maintenance for some time, and forest managers expect visitors to have an improved experience once the current project is complete.
To contact the Williams Ranger District office, call (928) 635-5600. Additional Kaibab National Forest is available through the following sources:
Twitter: www.twitter.com/kaibabnf (Text ‘follow kaibabnf’ to 40404 to receive text messages.)
Kaibab website “News & Events”: www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab
WILLIAMS – Winds picked up today and are expected to increase tomorrow. Winds are expected to be 10 to 15-mph tomorrow with gusts of 33. They are expected to increase tomorrow night, 17 to 22-mph, with gusts in the 30s. Temperatures will remain in the 60s, dropping to 59 starting Sunday.
The high winds are a cause for concern for campfires and barbecues. We remind people to be careful with fire.
Tuesday a slight chance of showers start up again with a chance of rain and snow beginning Wednesday night through Thursday. A chance of thunder is possible.
It should clear up again on Friday with temperatures rising back to the 60s.
WILLIAMS – The temperature is expected to rise to near 80o tomorrow and be sunny which may be the last good day through Wednesday. NOAA is calling for light and variable winds up to 15-mph with gusts of 23-mph tomorrow.
Saturday the temperature is expected to drop to 69o with winds increasing up to 25-mph and gusts as high as 41-mph. There is, currently, a 10% chance of thunderstorms. It should clear up and be breezy on Sunday with temperatures around 58.
On Monday there is a chance of rain and snow with some thunder possible continuing overnight. Tuesday and Wednesday a slight chance of showers continue with temperatures rising to about 60o.
Currently there are no hazardous weather warnings for the period. Campers should be aware of high winds when building camp fires, however.