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Sheridan Fire Latest Information

16 August 2019   Cheyenne Warner, Forest Service

Where's that smoking coming from?

Sheridan Fire Update August 17, 2019

Prescott, AZ, August 17, 2019 – The management of the Sheridan Fire has transitioned to the Arizona Central West Zone Type 3 Incident Management Team today. The fire continues to move steadily across the landscape in a remote and rural area south of the Camp Wood Road, and northwest of Willow Spring in the Sheridan Mountain area. There are no homes or structures threatened.

A fire area closure order is in effect over the Sheridan Fire area, limiting access south of the Camp Wood Road, with only areas to the North of Camp Wood Road remaining open. County roads on the perimeter of the closure remain open, all FS roads on the perimeter and interior FS will be closed.

Sheridan Fire Overview

Location: 23 miles Northwest of Prescott, AZ on the Chino Valley District (T16N, R6W, S16)

Start Date: August 5, 2019

Size:  3,700 acres

Percent Contained: 0%

Cause: Lightning

Vegetation: Pinyon-Juniper, Grass and Brush

Resources: Approx. 60 personnel including: 3-Engines, 1-Water Tender, 1-Handcrew,1-Helicopter

Current Situation:

Firefighters are continuing to use a helicopter and agency operated drones to monitor fire activity as access to the immediate fire area is limited mostly due to rough and rugged terrain. Area roads, trails, and natural barriers will be used as control features. 

The Sheridan Fire is a lightning caused fire being monitored as it burns naturally across the landscape. This fire is being allowed to play its natural role within the fire-adapted Ponderosa pine ecosystem. There is a wide variety of vegetation densities on the fire which, along with terrain and weather, will influence fire behavior and effects. The desired result of the Sheridan Fire is a “mosaic” of fire effects. Under the right conditions, fire helps break down nutrients and minerals in plants and other debris such as old logs and dense undergrowth and restores them to the soil.  The process also effectively reduces fire intensity in the case of future ignitions in the area as well.


Smoke from the Sheridan Fire will continued to be very visible from Prescott and the Tri-City area during mid-afternoon and into the evening hours, extending as far north of the general fire area relative to the predominant wind direction. Yesterday’s smoke was visible as far north as Ash Fork and Williams.

With smoke impacts continuing to be expected, we recommend that the public plan activities during the earlier part of the day. For sensitive groups we also recommend staying indoors with windows and doors closed and bringing pets inside. 

Prescott Fire Information Phone: 928-925-1111


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Location: 23 Miles Northwest of Prescott, AZ on the Chino Valley District (T15N, R6W, S16)

Start Date: August 6, 2019

Size: 674 Acres

Percent Contained: 0%

Cause: Lightning

Vegetation: Pinyon-Juniper, Grass and Brush

Resources: 2 engines, 1 crew and 1 helicopter

Yesterday smoke from the Sheridan Fire was very visible from Prescott and Tri-City areas as firefighters conducted aerial ignitions. The public may continue to see smoke as firefighters will continue to scout the area for roads, trails, and natural barriers to use as control lines. The Sheridan Fire is located in a remote area providing an opportunity for fire managers to look at the benefits of how to treat the landscape.

Fire mangers can significantly reduce the duration of heavy smoke impacts to the public by intentionally conducting ignition operations over the course of a few days compared to an uncontrolled wildfire which could burn for weeks. The Sheridan Fire allows firefighters to use a natural ignition and safe burning conditions to treat the forest landscape.

Fire managers know ahead of time when the heaviest smoke impacts are expected and can inform the public and recreationist well in advance to mitigate health and safety concerns. Allowing fire to consume dense fuels which have accumulated on the forest floor will reduce risk to firefighters responding to incidents within the Sheridan Fire footprint in the future. New starts will burn at a lower intensity with less fuel built up which provides a safer work environment for responding crews.

Fire managers can make operational plans and act from a proactive stance to keep fire within a predetermined planning area, while still allowing it to move around the interior naturally, as opposed to making reactive decisions.

Allowing the Sheridan Fire to naturally consume the buildup of forest fuels will reduce the risk to private property and recreational sites will become less vulnerable to catastrophic wildfire.

Fire managers were able to develop a plan well in advance to safely protect the established values at risk consisting of range improvements, recreation sites, private property, protected species, and archeological and historical heritage sites near the burn area. Regular intervals of fire in adapted ecosystems can restore the environment back to a more natural and healthy state and lends to long-term sustainability of healthy forests.

Nutrients are created by the recycling of burned material which enriches soils and stimulates growth. New grasses, shrubs, and trees replenish and grow stronger. Wildlife habitats are created and an increase in forge becomes available.

Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) have been placed over the Pemberton and Sheridan fires to provide a safe environment for firefighting aircraft being used for aerial operations.

The public can obtain additional information via the following:

· Local Ranger Stations: Bradshaw Ranger District, (928) 443-8000; Chino Valley Ranger District (928) 777-2200; Verde Ranger District (928) 567-4121

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