Containment strategy to be implemented on the Government Fire

WILLIAMS – Fire officials on the Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest have carefully considered their options and have elected to actively work toward containment of the Government Fire. Smoke impacts to rural communities have been consistent throughout the summer months and with the fall schedule for prescribed burning still ahead, the decision to limit smoke exposure to both the public and firefighters was made.

“Although this was another great opportunity to have natural fire play a beneficial role in improving forest health in our community, we recognize that there are still other important issues to consider” said Jeremy Human South Zone Fire Management Officer. “Air quality is certainly one of our priorities and after the amount of smoke our communities have already endured this year, we felt this was the best decision at this time”.

The Government Fire, discovered on August 4, has been moderately growing near the top of Government Hill just south of Spring Valley and north of Parks near the Sanderson Pass area. Firefighters will begin constructing control lines today and will continue to take actions to reach full containment over the weekend. Rain is forecasted over the next few days and is expected to help stop any further progression of the fires movement.

Smoke will continue to be noticeable at times. Light effects may drift into the surrounding rural areas during the late evening and early morning hours but is expected to diminish rapidly.

The lightning caused Government fire is currently just over 6 acres at this time.

Motorists are reminded to always use caution when driving near areas where fire is occurring and be aware of unexpected conditions when smoke is present.

Additional fire information for the Kaibab National Forest can be obtained from InciWeb at: or call the Kaibab National Forest Fire Information Phone Line at (928) 635-8311; Text Message – text ‘follow kaibabnf’ to 40404.

Crews respond to a new lightning caused wildfire on the Williams Ranger District

WILLIAMS – Fire crews on the Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest are responding to a new lightning caused fire start called the “Government Fire”. The Government Fire was discovered August 4, and has grown to approximately 6 acres in size. It is located on the southwest slope Government Hill just south of Spring Valley and north of Parks near the Sanderson Pass area.The Government Fire is burning in a mixed conifer and ponderosa pine fuel type. Recent moisture from monsoonal rains has dampened the environment considerably, however the fire is expanding moderately burning through available dead and down fuels near the top of the peak. Officials will continue to monitor this incident as wet weather is forecast over the next few days. Fire behavior is expected to be minimal as precipitation moves into the vicinity.

Officials recognize the concerns people have about wildfires that occur relatively close to private property within residential communities. However when fuel moisture is elevated and fire intensity is low, opportunities to allow fire to consume hazardous fuel loads can be beneficial in reducing the risks associated with living in forested areas. The end result will ultimately lower a future threat of a potentially devastating wildfire which can threaten homes and be very difficult to control.

Smoke may be visible from the surrounding communities of Parks, Spring Valley, Pittman Valley, and from the Interstate 40 corridor. Smoke impacts are predicted to be light in the neighboring communities and will be monitored closely.