Fire managers with the Flagstaff Ranger District are evaluating whether or not a recent lightning-caused wildfire south of Upper Lake Mary should be allowed to burn and consume dense forest fuels, according to a press release.
The Newman Fire, discovered Thursday, is approximately 2 acres and about 3 miles directly south of Upper Lake Mary, southeast of the intersection of Forest roads 132D and 655. The fire poses no danger or threat to any residents or structures, but it is producing smoke visible to motorists along Lake Mary Road and can also be seen from Flagstaff.
Firefighters are currently minimizing fire growth within a timber sale area and notifying campers in the area of the fire. Boaters and campers in the area should be aware of smoke impacts, which will increase if fire managers conduct burnout operations in the future. Campers should refrain from camping in areas south/southwest of Upper Lake Mary due to the probability of burnout operations in the area.
Allowing the fire to continue burning within an area southwest of Upper Lake Mary will create buffers that could help protect homes and vital infrastructure from possible future severe wildfires, as well as benefit the ecosystem by removing forest fuels and revitalizing the soil, according to the release.
More information will be released as decisions are made regarding this fire and greater smoke impacts become possible. Follow the Coconino National Forest’s social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, to get timely updates on this fire and forest-wide activities.