Forest fires are one of several natural disasters that nomads need to always be wary of, particularly during “fire season.” The Museum Fire currently burning north of Flagstaff is one that may impact many nomads as the Flagstaff area is popular with travelers during the summer months because of its typically cooler temperatures.
The Museum Fire is burning one mile north of Flagstaff, Arizona in the Coconino National Forest. As of today, July 23, the fire is zero percent contained and continues to grow. The fire, which is currently estimated to be around 1,000 acres in size, is located in the Dry Lake Hills area that is popular for camping and other outdoor recreation activities.
Evacuations have already started with approximately two dozen homes already ordered to evacuate. Pre-evacuation orders have been issued to thousands more homes in the area out of concerns that the fire will continue to spread.
Additional concerns with this wildfire include flash flooding and communications interruptions. Since the Flagstaff area is in the middle of monsoon season, the burn scar may result in flash flooding when heavy rains do occur. The fire is also burning in the area of communications towers on Mount Elden. Authorities are concerned that the fire may destroy those towers which would interrupt cell coverage for much of the county.
As nomads, we often rely on cellular data to stay abreast of important news – like wildfires near where we are camped. The potential loss of cell service would make it very difficult to access current, accurate information for anyone in the vicinity.
The incident command team is reporting that 500 firefighters are on scene, and every available aerial unit in the southwest region has been deployed. Monitor the Inciweb site for accurate updates from the fire incident command team. Weather.com also has a detailed article about the Museum fire on their website.
Cover photo shows a distant forest fire in Oregon earlier this summer.
We recently had a wildfire scare while camped in the forest near Sisters, Oregon. Fortunately, that fire was quickly contained and did not require us to evacuate, but we were watching it closely just in case.