There was some growth on the lightning-caused Rattlesnake Fire burning approximately 5 miles west of Bumble Bee in the Castle Creek Wilderness (T10N, R1E, S24) on the Prescott National Forest. The 4500 acre Rattlesnake Fire is slowing growing within predefined boundaries established for it allowing natural fire to play its role in the ecosystem, enhancing wildlife habitat, improving forest health, and reducing the potential for future high-intensity wildfires.
Update on Today’s Activities:
The fire is burning at a low-to-moderate level of intensity and slowly moving to south and east. Firefighters continue preparing for possible burn-out operations on the rim above the fire to protect the Horsethief Basin should the fire establish and threaten that area. Firefighters are also assessing the east side of the fire along County Road 59 for burn-out and holding needs. The fire’s growth continues in inaccessible and very rugged terrain. Firefighter safety and success remain the priority in the decisions of where, when, and how to fight this fire.
Closures: An area closure went into effect Wednesday, August 19 at 12:00 am (midnight) and includes Castle Creek Wilderness and Horsethief Basin Recreation Area including all recreation sites and summer homes. The follow area closure is established within the specific areas of the Prescott National Forest, Bradshaw Ranger District on all Forest Service lands as described below:
- Castle Creek Wilderness in its entirety; including all Forest Service Trails within the wilderness boundary.
- All areas east and south of County Road 59 from the intersection with Forest Road 52 (approximately 1.5 miles south Crown King, AZ; TlON, R lW, Sec 23) to the forest boundary at Turkey Creek bridge (Tl1N, RlE, Sec 25).
- All areas west of the Forest boundary from its intersection with County Road 59 at Turkey Creek Bridge (TllN, RlE, Sec 25) to the southeast boundary corner of the Forest (approximately 6 miles southwest of Bumble Bee, AZ; T9N, RlE, Sec 12).
- All areas north of the Forest boundary from the southeast corner (approximately 6 miles southwest of Bumble Bee, AZ; T9N, RlE, Sec 12) to its intersection with Forest Trail 233 (Lane Mountain Trail) in Copper Basin (T9N. RIW, Sec 10).
- All areas south and east of Forest Trail 233 (Lane Mountain Trail) from its intersection with the southern Forest boundary (T9N, R1W, Sec 10) to its intersection with Forest Road 100 (TlON, R lW, Sec 36).
- All areas east of Forest Road 100 from its intersection with Forest Trail 233 (TlON, RlW, Sec 36) to its intersection with Forest 52 (TlON, RlW, Sec 36) and all areas east of Forest Road 52 to its intersection with County Road 59 (TlON, lW, Sec 23).
- The Horsethief Basin/Recreational Area, including:
- Forest Road 52 (Senator Highway) is closed east of the Forest Road 100 intersection (TlON, RlW, Sec 36).
- Forest Roads: 52F, 696, 696D, 697, 9632B
- Forest Trails: 234, 203, 217
The closure order and accompanying map are available on the Prescott National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/prescott
The fire and smoke will be visible to the west of Sunset Point on I-17 for days to come. Please be cautious while driving the highways in the area. The fire will be visible from Highway 69 from Mayer to Cordes Junction and along I-17 from Cordes Junction to Black Canyon City. Drivers are encouraged to keep their curiosity at bay and eyes forward on the road.
There are no immediate structures, private property or critical infrastructure threatened by the Rattlesnake Fire.
The area forecast indicates several days of warm temperatures and no precipitation with light winds. There are indications of a return to more normal monsoon weather by Monday of next week.
The public can obtain fire information via the following:
- Prescott National Forest Fire Information Hotline: 928-777-5799
- Prescott National Forest Web Site: fs.fed.us/r3/prescott
- Fire Information: 928-925-1111