Monday, June 28, 2004 9:22 AM

 

Because of the Nuttall fire and the extensive fire fighting efforts underway, the mountain is closed to the public -- University crews are allowed through the closure upon showing their red squirrel permit. We have a number of fire engines, crew buggies, etc headed up the mountain -- please drive safe, courteous and slow. The incident management team has been asked to do likewise.

The Nuttall fire is about 150 acres and is located about 5.6 miles ***west-northwest*** of the MGIO site. The fire is in a remote area and in steep canyon area on the north side of the Pinaleno Mountains. On your topo map locate Riggs Lake -- go north to Clark Peak -- the fire is located north of Clark Peak between Carter canyon and Nuttall canyon. The south end of the fire is at an elevation of 8,300 and climbing -- the north end on the fire is at about 6,700 feet and dropping.

Good news -- on Sunday evening the Southwest Area Incident Management Team took over the fire fighting responsibility for the Nuttall fire. The Team is a Type 1 team. The Safford Ranger District and the Coronado National Forest have been very aggressive this year with the fires on Mt. Graham. In the event of further lightning starts we should have plenty of resources to quickly contain any fire. The incident commander is Dan Oltrogge. Coronado Forest representative is Forest Supervisor Jeanine Derby / Dean McAlister. Resource Advisor is Tom Skinner.
 

The general objectives for the incident team are:
 

  1. Ensure firefighter and public safety through closures, evacuations, temporary flight restrictions and adherence to all safety and management standards and guidelines.
  2. Provide accurate information to all interested and affected parties through public contacts / public events and the timely development and dissemination of news releases.
  3. Protect / minimize threats / loss of all identified values at risk, including critical wildlife habitat, Riggs Flat Campground, Columbine Summer Homes and the Mount Graham International Observatory.
  4. Contain the fire at a maximum of 2000 acres no later than 10 of July at a cost not to exceed 5.1mm.
  5. Keep fire north of Riggs Lake and Swift Trail, west of Mount Graham International Observatory, east of West Peak Lookout.

There are three divisions assigned to the fire at this time plus the Initial Attack crew. About 207 firefighters on the ground.

MGIO will have personnel attending the morning incident briefings with the Management Team -- 6:00 AM at the Safford High School.

MGIO will complete dropping the hazard trees along the access road this week and ensure that the sprinkler system and other fire prevention measures are in place and operational. Strongly suggest each operations manager dust off the fire prevention and contingency plans that you have prepared for your buildings and review them with your staff. If the fire is *not* contained we have about 2 weeks...

John Ratje


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