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Update on Sheridan Fire Benefits to the Ecosystem

26 August 2019   Dolores Garcia, PIO, Prescott National Forest
The Sheridan Fire area is historically fire adapted and requires periodic fire in order to remain vigorous...

Location: 23 miles Northwest of Prescott, AZ on the Chino Valley District (T16N, R6W, S16)Start Date: August 5, 2019
Size: 10,497 acres
Percent Contained: 0%
Cause: Lightning
Vegetation: Pinyon-Juniper, Grass, and Brush
Resources: Approx. 237 personnel including: 10-Engines, 4-Water Tenders, 1-Dozer, 3-Crews, 2-Helicopters

Current Situation: The Sheridan Fire continues to burn through the brush and grass in a remote area north of Prescott. The fire has not expanded greatly over the past few days as slightly lower temperatures and increased humidity have moderated the fire’s behavior. Crews are continuing to reinforce containment features by burning the vegetation along roadways and other features identified as potential containment lines.

A closure order remains in effect over the Sheridan Fire area for firefighter and public safety. A map and detailed description of the closure are available on Inciweb and on the Prescott National Forest website. Visitors and residents near the closure area should be alert for fire vehicles and equipment.

Benefits of the Sheridan Fire: The Sheridan Fire is consuming much of the dead and decadent vegetation in the area. Like many lands in the U.S., particularly in the west, the area is greatly overgrown and unhealthy following decades of fire suppression. The Sheridan Fire area is historically fire adapted and requires periodic fire in order to remain vigorous, have a lesser risk of high severity fire, and to provide good quality habitat and forage for wildlife and livestock.

Fire can be devastating when it occurs in the wrong place or under the wrong conditions. Many of our forests and grasslands have become so overgrown and dense that when a fire occurs it burns all the vegetation leaving the soil sterile and unproductive. The Sheridan Fire area is burning predominantly in brush and grass and the conditions have been such that the fire is resulting mainly in a mosaic of burned and unburned vegetation.

Smoke: Smoke from the Sheridan was mostly light yesterday. Smoke may continue to be visible from Prescott and the Tri-City area during the afternoons and into the evening hours but should not be particularly heavy. Smoke impacts extend mainly to the north of the general fire area. Fire operations managers attempt to minimize smoke impacts when and where possible.

A smoke monitor has been installed in Paulden and it is showing air quality to have remained in the “good” range throughout the day yesterday. We will continue to monitor smoke and will post advisories if an unhealthy range is expected or detected.

For more fire information:
Prescott Fire Information Phone: 928-925-1111
Prescott National Forest – Fire Closure Order & Map: https://www.fs.usda.gov/prescottInciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6522/
Prescott National Forest Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PrescottNF/
Prescott National Forest Twitter: https://twitter.com/PrescottNF

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