Rafael Fire grew rapidly Sunday, 12 miles northwest of Sedona, AZ

It has burned about 24,000 acres 20 miles southwest of Flagstaff

Updated at 9:16 a.m. MDT June 22, 2021

Rafael Fire map
Rafael Fire map. The red dots represent heat detected by a satellite at 4:12 a.m. MDT June 22, 2021. The red line was the mapped perimeter at 2:38 a.m. June 22. The white line was the approximate perimeter about 24 hours before.

The Rafael Fire 12 miles northwest of Sedona, Arizona was not as active Monday as in previous days. A satellite overflight at 4:12 a.m. Tuesday found heat along the eastern three-fourths of the fire perimeter, but the growth was incremental, advancing less than a mile to the north, east, and south. It has advanced on the eastern side to the bottom of Sycamore Canyon and Tule Canyon just southwest of Sycamore Point.

To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Rafael Fire, including the most current, click HERE.

A mapping flight at 2:38 a.m. Tuesday determined the Rafael Fire had burned about 24,000 acres.

Updated at 7:40 p.m. MDT June 21, 2021

The latest satellite overflight Monday at 3 p.m. MDT showed that the Rafael Fire continued to be active along portions of the north and south sides during the previous 12 hours, but at that time had not made any large runs. Later in the afternoon fire activity increased substantially.

We expect to have more detailed information including an updated map Tuesday morning.

The Coconino County website has evacuation information.

12:56 p.m. MDT June 21, 2021

map Rafael Fire
The red areas on the map represent heat detected on the Rafael Fire by satellites at 3:42 a.m. MDT June 21, 2021. The red line was the perimeter about five hours earlier.

The lightning-caused Rafael Fire 12 miles northwest of Sedona, Arizona grew substantially Sunday while being pushed by strong winds. After spreading to the east-northeast, early Monday morning it was about 12 miles southwest of Flagstaff. The Incident Management Team reported Monday morning it was mapped at about 20,000 acres.

The blaze began as four fires ignited by lightning last week that burned together during the wind event Sunday. It now spans across three National Forests (Prescott, Kaibab, and Coconino) and two counties (Yavapai and Coconino).

A Type 1 Incident Management Team has been ordered.

For the most current evacuation information visit the sites below:

Rafael Fire, June 20, 2021.
Rafael Fire, June 20, 2021. InciWeb photo.

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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.

7 thoughts on “Rafael Fire grew rapidly Sunday, 12 miles northwest of Sedona, AZ”

  1. Zero monsoons in ’19 and ’20 helped set the table for this season’s fires. AZ’s virtually a a replay of the hundreds of lightning strikes which, last year, spawned ravaging fires throughout Northern CA. The region’s third consecutive season of unbearable heartbreak. If addressing climate imbalance isn’t the singular, most pressing issue of the 21st century, mankind may not have the luxury of living out the 22nd. If we act, and the science proves flawed, how painful a downside can there be? If the science is indeed correct, we’ll be fortunate to stave off far, far worse.

  2. its time for people to realize this is the desert,no more grass lawns,golf courses,swimming pools,plants and trees that are nonnative.close all forest to public when temp.reaches 90degrees.love it as is dont come here to change anything.

  3. May Life Particles of love and light and Our ancestor spirits protect all living beings, the structures, and the land.

  4. God protect our firefighters; keep them safe from all harm as they fight to protect our homes and save our forests. Amen

  5. Our use of hydro carbon fuels has decreased the uper ozone layer dramatically.. This was our shield from Ultra Violet light.. ( excessive heat ) Hydrogen power generates Oxygen and water.. This would over time repair the upper Ozone layer due to the 28,000 lightning strikes around the Earth daily… Combined with tree planting instead of continued cutting of forests for grazing of cattle who also generate massive amounts of methane thinning our Oxygen and Ozone even more.. It is difference in temperature that creates wind.. The greater the difference, the stronger the wind and storms.. Is it too late ? Not for our grandchildren..

    1. It may be too late unfortunately. Now we have to put Fire Science to work and figure out new interventions. Global Warming is here to stay.

  6. Prayers offered to Saint Florian and Saint Michael for the protection of all Fire-Fighters


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