Jack Fire burns 25,000 acres in central Arizona

Jack Fire
Jack Fire, June, 2016. Burn operations along a high voltage power line were intended to mitigate adverse impacts on the line from the smoke when the fire approached it later. USFS photo by Mark Adams of the Mormon Lake Hotshots.

A fire that is under the radar has burned over 25,000 acres in central Arizona 24 miles southeast of Sedona. It is under the radar because the National Situation Report does not list what we used to call “prescribed natural fires”. And the maps on InciWeb are either very inaccurate or they only show the fire itself, with few recognizable landmarks around the fires that would allow a person to determine where it is in relation to important features like major highways or cities.

(Join the discussion — what should we call these fires that are not fully suppressed?)

The zoomable map for the Jack Fire on InciWeb (which is not being fully suppressed) that appears at the top of the page is very out of date, showing the fire to be much, much smaller than it actually is.  The .pdf maps do not enable a person to figure out where the fire is or what might be out ahead of the blaze. The June 12 Morning Intelligence Briefing at the Southwest Coordination Center had not updated the acreage on the Jack Fire since June 9, and showed it at 16,500 acres rather than the 25,700 that appeared on InciWeb June 12.

Jack Fire map
Map showing heat detected on the Jack Fire at 3:11 p.m. MDT (the red dots) June 12, 2016. The yellow dots are from the previous six days. Heat data from the fire before the last six days is not shown.

The Jack Fire InciWeb page needs to update the zoomable map, and provide a current Vicinity Map showing the accurate size of the fire and where it is in the world. For example the southeast side of the fire is three miles from a Highway that is known as 209, 65, 87, and 282, but you would not know that by looking at any of the maps.

One thing the incident management team has done well is recently uploading these images to Flickr.

Jack Fire
Jack Fire, June 9, 2016. Photo by Incident Commander Trainee Steven Vankirk. USFS.
Jack Fire
Jack Fire, June, 2016. USFS photo by Mark Adams of the Mormon Lake Hotshots.
Jack Fire.
Jack Fire. USFS photo June 7, 2016 by Jonathan Horn, a BLM smokejumper out of Boise.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

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