Fire officials on the Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab Forest are currently managing the lightning-caused Boulin Fire, discovered August 6. The fire is located near the junction of forest roads 141 and 713, approximately 9 miles north of Interstate 40 at the northwest corner of Spring Valley.
As of Monday morning, the Boulin Fire was at 30 acres and is expected to continue actively spreading over the next few days due to warm and dry conditions, according to a U.S. Forest Service release.
The initial defined planning area is at 4,200 acres, though the fire may not necessarily move through the entire designated landscape. On Sunday, crews prepared a section of the Historic Beale Wagon Trail (Forest road 713) along the northeast portion of the planning area for a black line operation to secure the fire at the containment edge. The fire will be allowed to move towards designated roads that serve as safe and effective control features, according to the forest service.
Firefighters are allowing the fire to “fulfill its natural role in the ecosystem, while increasing protection of private property, wildlife habitat, cultural resources and reducing hazardous fuels,” the press release said.
Incident Commander Trainee Tyler Richwine said that after Monday’s operations, he is confident the risk the fire has to residences and private property adjacent to the fire will be greatly reduced.
Smoke will continue to be visible from Highway 64, Spring Valley, Bellemont, Williams, Flagstaff and other outlying areas. Smoke volume will increase through Monday, reducing rapidly after the ignition operation is complete.