Sunflower Fire update
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 6 p.m.
Acres: 12,500 Start date: May 12, 2012
Cause: Under Investigation Location: 21 miles south of Payson
Containment: 10 percent Fuels: Grass, chaparral, pinyon pine
Terrain: Steep, rugged Resources: 15 crews, 13 engines, 2 dozers, 7 water tenders
Total personnel: 528 Available air support: 7 helicopters, 6 air tankers
Summary: The Sunflower Fire continued to burn actively in pockets of unburned fuel located within the previously established fire perimeter. Perimeter growth was minimal with an additional 500 acres reported since yesterday.
Direct firefighting operations are relying heavily on air attack due to remote, rugged terrain. Temporary “heliwells” have been established near Punkin Center facilitating quick turnaround times for air attack. The 2,000-gallon tanks are filled with water and fire retardant. Tanker trucks are being used to transport water. A special tanker system is located on site to mix additional retardant as needed.
Meanwhile, firefighting crews on the ground are busy reinforcing control lines and constructing new lines in preparation for potential burnout operations.
A South/Southwest wind pattern over the next 24 hours is expected to provide smoke relief in the valleys. However, Flagstaff and surrounding communities may be impacted by smoke from the fire.