Higher Humidity and Monsoon Activity Slowed Museum Fire Growth Overnight

Jul 23, 2019

The Museum Fire continues to burn north of Flagstaff on more than a thousand acres with no containment. But managers say increased monsoon activity has helped limit the fire’s growth. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Command Team 2 Operations Chief Todd Abel addresses the media Tuesday morning at Ft. Tuthill in Flagstaff.
Credit Ryan Heinsius

Relative humidity as high as 68% in some areas of the fire assisted crews in their efforts at containment overnight. Tuesday they’ll work to protect homes, powerlines and the local watershed along the perimeter of the fire.

"We are developing plans to keep fire to the north of the roads and trail systems in that area. Today will be a big scouting day for everybody to take a look at that and see where we can do the best work to keep that fire from impacting those values at risk," says Todd Abel, operations chief with the Type 1 Incident Command Team.

Firefighters could begin aerial ignitions and continue low intensity burnout operations today to retain vegetation and limit flooding after the fire. They’ll also keep up an aggressive air attack with heavy helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

Officials say the blaze is the number one priority wildfire in the nation because of its proximity to homes and infrastructure.