Dead Fuel Base, Dry Weather, and Rough Terrain Making Seeley Fire Difficult to Fight


Jonetta Trued, Public Information Officer of Eastern Arizona Incident Management TeamВ which is commanding the Seeley Mountain Fire,В said to thatВ three major components are adding to the difficulty in containing the blaze.

With an updated containmentВ of justВ 15 percent, Trued explained that dry conditions and other factors areВ to blame for theВ current condition of the fire.

“We have three things fighting against us,” she said. “The dead fuel base, terrain features, and drought and then local weather conditions. Those are theВ things causing problems.”

High winds in the fire areaВ coupled with what Trued called “turbulence” isВ causingВ an increase in fire activity.В The windsВ have increased flame sizeВ making the fire very difficult to fight.

“Because of this they (the firefighters) can’t have direct attack which they would prefer,”В she said. “They have to back out away from the flames and fight from the roads.”

Yet another major concern is what Trued described as “spotting.” This happens when embers, sometimes as big as chairs, are carried by wind up to three miles away causing more spot fires. Spotting causes firefighters having toВ stay further away than they would prefer to make sure flames do not spot across their lines.

Flames are spreading quickly with large amounts of dead and decadent trees and brush, Trued said. She explained that in the areas where flames are the worst, 20-30 tons-per-acre of dead trees and brush make up the fuel base. Trued also noted that the fire isn’t moving into new areas, but is “just burning up all the dead timbers in the areas it is in now.”

Check back with as more information becomes available.


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