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Burn

Fire creeps through the pine needle duff at the edge of the Gus Pearson Research Station at the Fort Valley Experimental Forest in 2018 during a controlled burn of a section of the Coconino National Forest. 

Updated Sep. 11, 2:40 p.m.: Burnout operations continue from the Whiskey Fire. A representative with The Coconino National Forest in Flagstaff said that Wednesday's smoke didn't lift well, leaving smoke in the area and strong odor.

Sep. 9: Officials with the Coconino National Forest are warning residents to expect smoke impacts from a lightning caused fire about 15 miles southwest of Flagstaff being called the Whiskey Fire, according to a media release.

The fire was discovered on Sept. 2 and has burned about 105 acres in the same area that was burned in the 2014 Slide Fire.

Burning in an area of ponderosa pine, the Whiskey Fire is being managed for forest restoration, as it burns through dense forest fuels in the area to help mitigate the possibility of severe wildfires in the future, officials said.

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As temperatures drop in the evening, smoke impacts are possible in the Village of Oak Creek, Sedona, and surrounding areas. Smoke may also settle along the state Route 89A corridor. The greatest impacts will be during the early morning hours, from midnight to 3 a.m., and should improve by mid-morning.

Forest users are advised to use caution when entering the proposed fire area. Firefighting vehicles and firefighters are present on roadways and smoke may reduce visibility. Parts of Forest Road 231 may be closed periodically to allow for firefighting equipment and operations. Please reduce speed and remain alert.

The Whiskey Fire will be active for weeks to come. Due to safety concerns for the public and firefighters, campers should not set up long-term campsites near the fire area.

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Adrian Skabelund can be reached at the office at askabelund@azdailysun.com, by phone at (928) 556-2261 or on Twitter @AdrianSkabelund.

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