Sunflower Fire News Release
May 13, 2012 4:30 p.m.
Fire Information: (602) 525-1042
Acres: 2,700 Start date: May 12, 2012
Cause: Under Investigation Location: 21 miles south of Payson
Containment: 0 percent Fuels: Grass, chaparral, pinyon pine
Terrain: Steep, rugged Resources: 9 crews, 14 engines
Total personnel: 280 Available air support: 4 helicopters, 6 air tankers
Summary: The Arizona Central West Zone Incident Management Team, Bea Day Incident Commander, is assuming responsibility for the direction of the suppression efforts on the Sunflower Fire at 6:00 p.m. today. Additional resources have been ordered and are responding to the incident.
Driven by rugged terrain and dry fuels, the Sunflower Fire was active today, running to the east northeast. Low relative humidity and dry fuels contributed to the active fire behavior. In spite of these conditions, firefighters worked to anchor the fire on the south side and conducted minor early burnout operations along the west side of Forest Road 201 to improve the containment lines there.
Drought conditions in Arizona continue with precipitation this year being approximately 40% of normal. Fuels in the vicinity of the fire are currently as dry as would typically be expected in mid-June.
Threats: The power line southeast of the fire is a concern but is energized at this time. No structures are threatened. There are no evacuations at this time.
Smoke: Smoke from the Sunflower Fire is drifting to the east northeast during the day and is of no immediate concern. During the evenings, smoke descends and follows the drainages into the communities of Tonto Basin, Cave Creek and the East Valley.
Visibility is an excellent measure of air quality. If visibility is ten miles or more, the air quality is good. Visibility of six to nine miles indicates moderate air quality. Three to five miles of visibility indicates conditions unhealthy for sensitive groups. One and a half to two and a half miles, the air quality is unhealthy. One to one and a quarter miles indicates the air quality is very unhealthy. If visibility due to smoke is less than a mile, the air quality is hazardous. Smoke sensitive persons in affected areas may need to take action to mitigate the conditions. Remaining indoors, using air conditioning or temporarily moving to an unaffected area may be necessary.
For more smoke information and air quality forecasts, please visit the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality website at www.azdeq.gov/environ/air/smoke/fire.html.