Current Situation: Containment on the Tunnel Fire increased to 43% on Wednesday evening due to firefighters’ continued hard work to mop- up and secure the fire’s perimeter in the Sunset Crater National Monument and Black Mountain areas. Critical fire weather caused increased fire behavior resulting in interior pockets of smoke. This was not a threat to the perimeter and there was no fire growth. Suppression repair work occurred along Forest Road 545 and in Sunset Crater National Park.
Crews will remain on the Tunnel Fire for several days to patrol for smokes and mop-up as needed, finish backhaul of equipment that is no longer in use, and to complete suppression repair. As work is accomplished, resources will be released and made available to respond to other priority fires in the Southwest.
As of this morning, the Tunnel Fire is 19,075 acres. The reduction in size is due to more accurately depicting the fire’s edge south of Darton Dome near the lava flows.
Tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. the management of the Tunnel Fire will transition to the Coconino National Forests’ Type 4 Incident Commander. They will provide periodic updates as conditions change on the ground. Inciweb will be updated until the fire is contained. Highway 89 has reopened.
Weather: There is a Red Flag Warning in effect for Thursday for low humidity levels and increased winds. Firefighters will continue to patrol and mop-up. They expect any active burning to be within the existing fire perimeter. Much of the visible smoke is a result of several large fires burning in the Region.
Fire restrictions remain in place. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire are prohibited. For more information, please visit the Coconino National Forest website.