July 10, 2018 @1530
Location: 30 miles northwest of Prescott, AZ on the Chino Valley Ranger District (T16N, R7W, S11)
Start Date: July 9th
Size: Approximately 81 acre
Percent Contained: 0
Vegetation: Ponderosa Pine
Resource Commitment: 1 Type III helicopter; 2 Type II IA crews, 1 Engine
Summary: After receiving precipitation yesterday afternoon the Stubbs fire had minimal growth overnight. Much like last year’s Hyde Fire, the location of the Stubbs Fire combined with the time of year are ideal to see desired and beneficial results in restoring the ecosystem in the area. Unlike fires earlier this summer, which occurred during our hottest and driest periods and were immediately adjacent to communities, the Stubbs Fire is in a remote area and resulted from a lightning strike at a time when intermittent rains have occurred and are likely to continue.
With the onset of the Monsoon rains, higher relative humidity both during the day and night will aid in minimizing fire behavior. Lightning fires have occurred on this landscape for hundreds of thousands of years and burned freely under similar conditions.
Firefighters staffing the Stubbs Fire will be applying their skills and expertise in manipulating fire behavior and the fire’s perimeter in a way to mimic the historic patterns and to reduce the likelihood of unwanted effects.
The primary reason for this strategy of restoring fire’s historical and natural role in and around the Stubbs Fire is to enhance the health of the limited and fragile Ponderosa Pine in the area. Low to moderate intensity fires at this time of year reintroduce nutrients into the soil and reduce competitive vegetation that could pose a risk to higher intensity fires in the future. In turn, wildlife habitat, watershed condition and many other natural resources will be enhanced.
The firefighters on the Stubbs Fire would like to make clear to the public and our partners that they are not “letting it burn.” A popular misbelief over the years, is that managers simply let lightning fires burn. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Fire managers and natural resource specialists plan for lightning fires well ahead of the season every year by assessing conditions, reviewing policy and taking both natural and human values at risk. And when such a lightning fire occurs, all the same tools and tactics are available and employed as needed on a lightning fire as they might be for a human-caused and undesirable fire.
Fires this time of year and in areas with fewer values at risk, such as the Stubbs Fire, may employ less aggressive tactics in the name of firefighter safety and tax-payer savings. However, we never allow any fire to simply burn at will. The Stubbs Fire will be managed with a combination of tactics that may include burn out operations, line construction, mop-up and when appropriate, simple monitoring by personnel on the ground or in the air.
The public can obtain additional information via the following:
- Prescott NF Forest Website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/prescott/
- Twitter: @PrescottNF
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PrescottNF/
- Local Ranger Stations: Bradshaw Ranger District, (928) 443-8000; Chino Valley Ranger District (928) 777-2200; Verde Ranger District (928) 567-4121
- Arizona Fire Restrictions http://firerestrictions.us/az/