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Museum Fire Morning Update

Susan Ward

Fire crews are making progress on the Museum Fire burning one mile north of Flagstaff. Monsoon rains and high humidity are making for more favorable firefighting conditions. 

  • 1887 acres burned, 10% contained
  • No injuries
  • No structures burned
  • Rain last night and this morning is helping firefighting efforts
  • Several more days of drenching rain would be needed to extinguish the fire
  • Crews were able to do an IR flight last night to get a better idea of the size of the fire
  • Today's plan is to work on a spot fire to the east, and move from aerial attacks to boots on the ground
  • Ground crews plan to engage right at the fire's edge to stay ahead of it and keep the fire's "footprint" small
  • Flood potential is significant. The more severe the fire, the more it burns topsoil, the bigger the risk of flood
  • The fire burned at high-intensity for the first 48 hours at least
  • There is no recorded fire history in the area of the Museum Fire, so it has lots of heavy fuels that set up high-intensity burn conditions
  • Smoke monitors are set up in various locations near the fire and across the city of Flagstaff to record air quality. There have been some spikes in the readings, and wind makes things variable, but the smoke is mainly aloft and to the northeast
  • Currently 10 evacuees at the emergency shelter
  • Fire managers plan to decide today by noon whether people in the "Go" zone can go back to their properties
  • A community meeting is planned tonight regarding potential flooding. The meeting is at 6 p.m. at Coconino High School's auditorium. It is for residents and property owners on Paradise Road, Grandview Drive and some areas of Sunnyside, including north to Route 66, east of West Street, west of 4th Street and south of Cedar Avenue
  • Pre-filled sandbags will be available starting today, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. in the Coconino High School south parking lot
  • Coconino County says residents of the affected fire area can fill their own sandbags at two locations: Joel Montalvo Little League Fields at Struce Street and First Avenue, and on Aztec Street near Frances Short Pond
  • The Summit Fire Department is out of sandbags, but has sand and cinders if you want to bring your own bags
  • The Coconino Humane Association is still looking for fosters for shelter animals. They are trying to make room for evacuated animals. For foster information, call 928-526-1076