McRae, Hammer fires near Tusayan continue growing; benefiting forest

WILLIAMS, Arizona – The two fires being managed to achieve resource objectives southeast of Tusayan, Arizona, continued slow but steady growth Saturday, benefiting forest resources and lessening the risk of future high-intensity fires.

“We have been lucky that the rain received on other areas of the forest hasn’t been as heavy on our two resource-benefit fires,” said Quentin Johnson, incident commander for the McRae Complex and fire management officer for the Tusayan Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest. “Our goal is to allow the natural spread of these fires to reduce hazardous fuels, improve wildlife habitat, and meet other natural and cultural resource objectives.”

Current fires in the Kaibab National Forest

McRae Fire

The McRae Fire grew by 74 acres Saturday, reaching a total size of 5,071 acres. Some managed ignitions were conducted on the east side of State Highway 64, but fire managers had to limit the amount burned due to smoke impacts to the highway. Smoke mitigation has been a priority for fire managers since the McRae Fire was started by lightning on July 4. Sunday, the McRae Fire is not expected to grow much due to a steady drizzle of rain on the fire last night.

Hammer Fire

The Hammer Fire was more active Saturday growing by 371 acres to a total size of 596 acres. The area received rain overnight, so crews may be able to burn slash piles Sunday that are located along Forest Road 310 within the predetermined boundary established for the Hammer Fire. Due to the precipitation last night, fire managers expect less growth on the Hammer Fire Sunday.

Williams Ranger District

On the Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest, the Sitgreaves Complex remains dormant for the moment due to several days of precipitation. The 4,150-acre fire is not expected to be active over the next few days. Some smoke is still visible on the Sitgreaves Complex, leading fire managers to believe that resurgence is possible when conditions dry out. In the meantime, crews will continue monitoring the fire.

Fire activity updates and maps available 24 hours

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