Plumes of black and white smoke have been seen coming from the back side of the Galiuros since last week. This is from the Oak Fire in the Safford Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest that was started by lightning on June 17, 2014. The fire has burned 11,172 acres as of June 30. It is currently 5 percent contained. Firefighters are containing the fire within the National Forest boundary to prevent it from spreading to state or private lands. As the fire gets closer to the pre-planned boundary, the percent containment figure will increase.
According to the latest report, “The fire is expected to continue to grow to the south and west in the Rattlesnake Creek, Corral Canyon and Paddy’s River areas. The fire will continue to show similar fire activity as the last few days, which will include backing down slopes and then some uphill runs. Some of the activity will be intense for short periods/runs. Fuels are very dry in the area and very receptive to ignition. Fire behavior increased slightly on June 29 and produced a column in Corral and Brush canyons as it aligned with slope and wind.”
On the night of June 24, a backing fire along a ridge line in the Kennedy Peak area was ignited by a helicopter dropping fuel filled spheres which ignite upon impacting the ground. The ridge line was set on fire to allow it to back down to the lower elevations. Backing fires usually burn more slowly and with less intensity than fires burning uphill, resulting in minimal effects to mature trees while burning off the lower ground fuels. If you would like more information about the fire including a map of the area fire, visit inciweb.nwcb.gov.