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Whiskey Fire

Unit Information

Coconino National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
1824 S. Thompson St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

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Incident Contact

Whiskey Fire Public Information
Phone: 928-275-1564
Hours: Monday-Sunday 0700-2000

Whiskey Fire Information MapImage options: [ Full Size ]

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., Sept. 16, 2019 – The fire is burning approximately 8 miles east of Turkey Butte Lookout and approximately 3900 acres in size currently. A type 3 team took over command of the fire on Sept. 10 at 0700. The lightning-caused Whiskey fire was reported by the Turkey Butte fire tower lookout on Sept. 2nd, 2019.

Starting today, fire personnel plan to conduct a large firing operation. This operation is important to secure control lines and keep the fire within its containment area. This firing operation is expected to produce a significant amount of smoke in the area for several days after.
Over the past several days fire personnel moderated firing operations in efforts to minimize smoke impacts to the surrounding areas, allowing only areas of unburned fuel to continue to burn within the fire perimeter.

We apologize for the expected smoke impacts. Fire fighters will attempt to reduce impacts to the public as much as possible. However, there are no perfect weather conditions or tactics that exist to remove smoke impacts entirely from a fire.

Smoke is expected to spread to the north over the next several days following a more seasonal southwest wind pattern. Smoke may affect areas including Flagstaff, Munds Park, Mountainaire, Kachina Village, Forest Highlands, Doney Park, Mormon Lake Village, Highway 89A Corridor, Sedona, Village of Oak Creek and portions of Interstate 40.

Forest Road 538 will be closed at the intersection of FR 527 and 538 all the way south to the intersection of FR 538E. The closure may last several days in efforts to provide for firefighter and public safety. However, the closure could last longer if necessary to safely continue vital operations. Persons planning to travel in this area should expect delays and use the alternate routes.

On Thursday, firefighters conducted a large firing operation. Due to an atypical wind shift, smoke from the fire was pushed south to the areas of Prescott Valley, Camp Verde, Chino Valley and other areas south and southwest of the fire area. Yesterday, fire personnel moderated firing operations in efforts to minimize smoke impacts to the surrounding areas, allowing only areas of unburned fuel to continue to burn within the fire perimeter.

Quick updates will also be provided on the Coconino National Forest’s Twitter and Facebook sites, and the Forest’s website at

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginMonday September 02nd, 2019 approx. 12:00 AM
LocationSouth of Casner Cabin Draw and east of FS Road 231J
Incident CommanderPreston Mercer, Josh Goldstein (T)
Incident DescriptionLightning-started Wildfire Being Used For Multiple Objectives.
Coordinates35.044 latitude, -111.84 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel65
Size3,900 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained16%
Estimated Containment DateWednesday October 16th, 2019 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

timber (Litter and Grass understory)

Significant Events





Planned Actions

Continue burnout operations in the FS Road 538 area. Travel is re-routed for an operational closure.

Projected Incident Activity

12 hours: If conditions permit, hand ignitions and aerial ignitions will take place near FS Road 538.

24 Hours: Ignitions will continue if conditions permit.

48 hours: Fire will be allowed to back through drainages and canyons to reduce fire intensities.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

There is a significant chance of showers Monday and a slight chance of showers Tuesday at the fire location. Dryer weather is forecasted for Wednesday and throughout the remainder of the week.