Forest Service officials suspect a person is at fault for the Chimney Springs Fire near the Arizona Scenic Trail on Wednesday.
Authorities do not know what specifically started the fire near where the Arizona Trail connects to the Schultz Creek Trail. The Schultz Creek Trail is still closed due to the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project. The fire was contained yesterday at seven acres by 5:30 p.m., according to George Jozens, spokesman for the Coconino National Forest.
“There was no lightning in the area, so we know it was human caused. It is being investigated at this time,” Jozens said.
There were no clouds for most of the morning as people celebrated the Fourth of July around Flagstaff. Some time after 1 p.m., smoke billowed from the forests on the San Francisco Peaks. At 1:21 p.m., the Flagstaff dispatch center got the call and Wildland Firefighters arrived on scene at approximately 1:30 p.m.
The fire was on land that was thinned more than a year ago, and had been cleared of slash and tree trunks, Jozens said.
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“Always helps to treat fires when we have a properly thinned class,” Jozens said.
More than 50 firefighters responded to the fire, including fire engines and a helicopter that can carry up to 100 gallons. As of 7:30 a.m. this morning, only a couple of hand crews, an engine and water tender truck remain on the scene to dig and mop up the scene, Jozens said.
Over the holiday, there were a few other fires that sparked up around the Red Rock Ranger District.
“They were all less than an acre, mostly on the roads,” Jozens said. “We’d like to remind people to secure their chains and make sure they don’t throw sparks over heavy grass.”