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7/24/2012 9:47:00 AM
Lightning starts eight fires on west side of Kaibab Plateau
Kaibab National Forest managing West Side Complex
Williams-Grand Canyon News

FREDONIA, Ariz. - Firefighters working with the Kaibab National Forest are suppressing eight fires on the west side of the Kaibab Plateau started by lightning during a thunderstorm around noon July 21. The fires are being managed collectively as the West Side Complex.

All fires are burning in mainly pinyon-juniper woodlands and cheatgrass. All fires are lightning-caused and all are being managed for suppression.

The fires received no rain Saturday evening, but fire managers report that increased cloud cover and atmospheric moisture have helped to slow fire activity.

As of Monday, the largest fire in the complex, the Tank Fire, was about 50 percent contained and was estimated at 2,546 acres. The Tank Fire is located adjacent to Kanab Creek Wilderness near Little Spring Canyon.

The Elbow Fire was estimated at 222 acres and the Faver Fire was estimated at 144 acres. The other fires were all 25 acres or less.

Also as of Monday, total acreage for the West Side Complex was estimated at 2,871 acres and containment for the entire complex was estimated at 40 percent.

Around 224 firefighters are currently engaged in fire suppression efforts. Resources include 12 engines, four hot shot crews, two Type 2 initial attack hand crews, and two helicopters.

Cost to date for the entire incident is about $150,000.Objectives for the complex include the protection of firefighter and public safety, and reducing the impacts to natural and cultural resources.

There are no communities or structures at risk at this time.

Follow the incident at www.inciweb.orgor follow the Kaibab National Forest on Twitter at

For more information, please contact Public Affairs Specialist Patrick Lair at (928) 643-8172.

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