Originally published Thursday, August 9, 2018 at 02:38p.m.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Fire managers with the Coconino National Forest continue monitoring and utilizing several lightning-caused fires to benefit the landscape and maintain a healthy ecosystem by allowing fire to fulfill its natural role and consume forest debris.

These fires, as with any wildfire, do not have planned end dates, but firefighters determine a specific planning area within which the fire may run its natural course. However, this does not mean the fire will move across the entire planning area, as specific edges of a fire may be suppressed to protect certain values such as public safety, private property, cultural sites, major transmission power lines, trailheads, dispersed camping sites, and more. Actions are also taken to minimize smoke impacts where possible and necessary.

Thunderstorms building in the area of the fires may randomly change wind directions making smoke patterns very difficult to predict.

Additionally, monsoon weather and precipitation may extinguish any of these wildfires at any time, which would bring the fire to a conclusion.

Deer Fire

Discovery date: July 13

Cause: Lightning

Location: Approximately eight miles southwest of C.C. Cragin Reservoir and three miles northeast of Kehl Springs Campground (Lat/Long: 34.471194, -111.290111).

Current size: 1,200 acres in a 1,800-acre planning area

Resources: One engine with three firefighters assigned

Predicted smoke impacts: The Deer Fire received rain Wednesday afternoon and the smoke from this wildfire is moving northwest. Overnight smoke drainage may impact the Strawberry, Pine and Verde Valley areas.

Current closures: None.

Recent and current operations: The Deer Fire is burning in the drainage and interior areas in heavier fuels.

Seep Fire

Discovery date: July 17

Cause: Lightning

Location: Approximately three miles north of Kendrick Park, east of state Route 180 along Forest Roads 523 and 9001E (Lat/Long: 35.463500, -111.752889).

Current size: 4,000 acres

Current resources: Approximately 20 firefighters

Predicted smoke impacts: Light smoke from dense fuels is expected to move east. Smoke may have an impact on U.S. Highway 89 Thursday.

Current closures: None

Recent and current operations: Weather conditions allowed firefighters to ignite heavy dead and down debris from the 1996 Horseshoe Fire within the interior of the containment area Thursday.

Bristow Fire

Discovery date: July 20

Cause: Lightning

Location: Approximately six miles southeast of Munds Park and east of Interstate 17 (Lat/Long: 34.863611, -111.598500).

Current size: 3,922 acres

Current resources: This fire is in monitor status and has random patrols.

Predicted smoke Impacts: Smoke is lessening and pushing east. Settling smoke during the evening is expected to be in Woods Canyon and Jack’s Canyon. Smoke is still settling in the early mornings on I-17 south of Munds Park.

Current closures: None

Recent and current operations: The fire received rain Wednesday afternoon and is continuing to burn interior pocket of fuel in the containment area. It will burn less every day producing less smoke each day.

Information and details about the Deer and Bristow Fires, including their objectives, will be updated on Inciweb under the name of the fire at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/. Quick updates will also be provided via the Forest’s social media sites, to include Twitter at www.twitter.com/coconinonf (@CoconinoNF) and Facebook at www.facebook.com/CoconinoNF (@CoconinoNF).

More information about smoke impacts is available from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality at http://bit.ly/SmokeHealthAwareness.

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