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Rafael Fire

Unit Information

Prescott National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
344 S Cortez St
Prescott, AZ 86303

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This incident is no longer being updated.

Rafael Progression Map dated 6/29/2021 shows progression from 6/19 thru 6/28Image options: [ Full Size ]

The Rafael Fire was discovered on June 18, 2021 on the Prescott National Forest, the result of passing predominantly dry thunderstorms. The fire was located in a remote area approximately 4 miles north of Perkinsville had grown to 1,000 acres by the morning of June 20. At this time, the Arizona Central West Zone Type 3 Incident Management Team assumed management of the Rafael Fire. Strong winds on June 20, combined with dry fuels and favorable uphill topography in front of the fire, added nearly 18,000 acres for a total of 18,671 acres. The fire moved 9 ½ miles on June 20 and moved from the origin to above the Rim onto the Kaibab National Forest and into the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Area.

On June 21st, the fire added another approximately 5,500 acres to 24,191 acres, and burned actively in Tule Canyon within the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness on the Kaibab National Forest. The fire continued to grow in Sycamore Canyon and on Tuesday, June 22 the fire continued to move east and crossed into the Coconino National Forest. Again, topography and dry fuels drove the fire approximately 7 ½ miles on the 22nd and by Wednesday morning, and by the morning of June 23rd the fire had grown to 34, 949 acres. On the morning of June 24, the Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team 2 led by Incident Commander Dave Bales assumed management of the fire. The fire was returned to the local unit with a Type 3 organization led by Incident Commander Troy Mueller on Friday, July 02 at 0600.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginFriday June 18th, 2021 approx. 07:27 PM
Location4 miles N of Perkinsville, AZ, E of Hwy 89
Incident CommanderPrescott National Forests
Incident Description4 lightning caused fires in the area: Rafael, Sand Flat, Archibald, Horney.
Coordinates34.942 latitude, -112.162 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel12
Size78,065 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained95%
Fuels Involved

Brush (2 feet)

Timber (Litter and Understory)

The fire has primarily been carried by short brush and sparse grasses in the lower elevations and dense cured brush in the mid-elevation drainages.

Significant Events

Minimal Creeping Smoldering.


Planned Actions

Hold, mop-up and secure the fire perimeter, remove hazard trees if necessary, and recheck hot spots

near the fire line. Continue suppression repair work in accordance with the suppression repair plan.

Projected Incident Activity

No additional perimeter or personnel increase anticipated. additional personnel decrease will occur due to equipment/crews timing out.


Fire has transitioned back to the Prescott National Forest with coordination with the Kaibab and

Coconino National Forests

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Though, scattered thunderstorms continue to develop around and

over the Rafael Fire and general lightning awareness/safety should

be adhered to, there is the chance of drying out to occur Wed/Thurs, which may reignite unburned fuels within the fire perimeter.