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Empire Mountains Fire Line Holding

Sedona AZ (May 8, 2017) – Overnight fire operations by crews met with greater success, coupled with cooler temperatures, which allowed firefighters to stop the forward progression of the Mulberry Fire burning in the Empire Mountains southeast of Vail. The fire began March 6 and has burned approximately 1,755 to-date, however it is now considered 65% contained. The small amount of precipitation last night and cooler temperatures allowed fire crews to mop up hotspots around the perimeter as work continues to rehabilitate the fire construction line.

Weather forecasts call for more cool temperatures and a 30 % chance of rain this afternoon, further aiding firefighting efforts. More rain is expected tomorrow.

The Southwest Zone Type III Incident Management Team has implemented a plan to downsize the number of firefighters working the fire. Today, many crews will be released from the fire to return to home stations to rest, resupply, and prepare for the next incident. Tonight, the fire will be turned back over to the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management. During these changes, crews will continue to mop up hot spots, rehabilitate the fire line, and remove equipment deployed during the incident.

A Temporary Flight Restriction, or TFR, will remain for the fire which prohibits the use of drones and other aircraft over the fire area. This restriction will be reevaluated once firefighting efforts are diminished.

Empire Mountains roads are unpaved, rough, narrow, and being used by heavy equipment associated with the fire suppression effort. For safety reasons, non-residential traffic is asked to avoid the area until suppression efforts are completed.

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