From the Forest Service:

Lightning-caused Cellar Fire Being Managed to Assist in Forest Restoration

Contact(s): Debbie Maneely: 443-8130

Location: 19 miles south of Prescott, AZ on the Bradshaw Ranger District (T10N, R2W, S5)
Start Date: July 14th
Size: Approximately 36 acres
Percent Contained: 0
Cause: Lightning
Vegetation: Grass and Brush

The Prescott National Forest is planning to allow the lightning caused Cellar Fire to fulfill its nature role in the environment. The location of the Cellar Fire combined with the time of year are ideal to see desired and beneficial results in restoring the ecosystem in the area by reducing dense forest fuels. Unlike fires during our hottest and driest periods, the Cellar Fire is occurring at a time when intermittent rains are likely to continue. With the onset of the Monsoon rains, higher relative humidity during days and nights will aid in minimizing fire behavior. Lightning fires have occurred on this landscape for hundreds and thousands of years and burned freely under similar conditions.

Fire managers and Forest Leadership 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. We never allow any fire to simply burn. The Cellar 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.

Castle Creek Fire – Firefighters reported that the Castle Creek Fire burning approximately 6 miles east of the community of Crown King in the Castle Creek Wilderness (T10N, R1E, S27) received moisture yesterday afternoon and early evening. The fire has not grown in size with no visible smoke.

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