Cooper Fire Benefits Resource Objectives on Kaibab Plateau
Incident: Cooper Fire Wildfire
FREDONIA, Ariz. – The Cooper Fire on the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest has continued to spread, increasing to 185 acres. The low intensity, lightning caused fire is burning naturally in the Jacob Ryan Vegetation Management Project area, clearing out forest ground litter and reducing existing fuel loads. Established resource objectives for the Jacob Ryan project include reducing existing fuel loads to decrease crown fire potential and improving forest health by reducing current timber stand densities. Fire managers are pleased with the progress of the Cooper Fire in meeting these resource objectives.
“The Cooper Fire is burning in an area where fuel reductions are needed,” stated North Kaibab District Ranger Randall Walker. “By maintaining fire in a fire-adapted ecosystem we are reducing fuel loads, decreasing the risk of crown fires in the future.”
The fire is growing to the south toward Highway 89A and is currently with a half mile of the highway. The fire will be allowed to spread naturally under close supervision by fire managers. Fire crews may ignite fuels in specific areas in order to reduce the chance of unwanted fire spread or behavior in the direction of containment lines. The fire will be confined to a 958-acre planning area.
Smoke can be seen along Highway 89A northwest of Jacob Lake and can be smelled in Jacob Lake. Fire officials urge drivers and visitors to use caution when traveling through the area and to watch for fire personnel working along the road. Smoke impacts should be minimal in Fredonia, Kanab, Page and House Rock Valley.
Date/Time Reported: Friday, July 15, 2013
Location: 4 miles northwest of Jacob Lake
Size: 185 Acres
Landscape/Fuels: Ponderosa pine
Fire Behavior: Low intensity, 6 to 12 inch flame lengths
Planning Area: 968 acres