According Jonetta Trued, Public Information Officer for Eastern Arizona Incident Management, dry thunderstorms and high winds are affecting the Seeley Mountain Fire while flames continue to enter new areas.
Trued described firefighterВ positioning and strategies. She said that lines are firm on the south and east end of the fire and some on the west side as well. Teams are adding sprinklers to the north and northeast sides.
She said also that shifting winds will carry the fire as it did yesterday when thick smoke entered many areas of Carbon County. Trued explained that swiftly-moving thunderheads in the area created winds 40-60 mph.
“When it (high winds) hits the fire it increases fire activity because fires love clean air,” she said. “That’s what has helped it to get going yesterday and today. Because of this wind going down in the very active dead-down trees it will create a big black cloud today.”
With the continued hot and dry weather, Trued said that shifting wind patterns will carry the fire in all directions burning much dry, dead-down timber.
Where is the fire at this time?
Trued explained that a fire line was held at Seeley Ridge on the southwest perimeter. She continued:
“Fire continued to burn in a big bowl at the top of Mill Canyon and increased in activity when thunderheads contributed significant downdrafts and spotted into Flood Canyon. In the early afternoon (July 1) the fire in this area began to merge with fire burning north along Nuck Woodard Canyon and gained strength as winds associated with the overhead thunderheads increased. Activity in this area eventually contributed to spot fires and merged with significant increased activity along Lone Pine Tree Ridge.”
“The late afternoon fire’s largest column was located at Trough Springs Ridge. Firefighters held the line at a ridge northwest of Hiawatha but the fire did not get into Hiawatha. Firefighters were able to knock down the activity in Middle Fork Canyon and complete structure protection (including installing sprinklers in some areas) in Hiawatha, Clear Creek, and Valentine. The city of Price was heavily impacted by the large smoke plume blown east. Night shift crews continued structure protection for the evacuated towns of Hiawatha and Clear Creek.”
At last report, the Seeley Mountain Fire has blackened 23,410 acres and was 10 percent contained.