Officials with the Coconino National Forest are continuing to manage a fire started by a lightning strike and discovered late last week, according to as media release.
The Newman Fire is burning about 15 miles southeast of Flagstaff, just north of Mormon lake, and has covered about 215 acres.
The fire poses no danger to any residents or structures, but it is producing smoke visible to motorists along Lake Mary Road and may also be seen from Flagstaff, according to National Forest Officials.
Officials are allowing the fire to burn naturally across the landscape. The Newman Fire is low intensity and allowing it to burn will replenish nutrients in the soil and consume dense fuels on the forest floor.
This will provide a more defensible space reducing the risk of future catastrophic wildfires to homes, private property and recreation sites near Lake Mary, according to National Forest Officials.
Last week, firefighters worked to keep the fire away from a timber sale area and notified campers in the area. This week, firefighters are working to ensure all areas within the designated burn zone have burned.
Smoke impacts are expected to increase as these burnout operations begin on Tuesday evening. The operations are planned to continue throughout the week depending on weather conditions.
Coconino National Forest officials advise the public to use caution when recreating or driving in the Lake Mary area as smoke may impair visibility, and firefighters will be working nearby. The immediate fire area is closed to the public.
A larger area closure is expected mid-week because of the burnout operations which will be done by air. Lake Mary Road may be closed at times. A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over the fire area.
Updates about the Newman Fire can be found on Inciweb or on the Coconino National Forest’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.