The Maid Fire, located on the east side of Apache Maid Mountain, has now grown to 543 acres as of Monday morning, according to fire officials.
The wildfire began during the early morning hours of Saturday, November 4th and was reported by a member of the public.
The specific cause of the human-caused fire is still under investigation. However, firefighters are currently utilizing burnout operations and surrounding forest roads as containment features to gain control of the blaze.
The Maid Fire is burning through ponderosa pine, pinyon-juniper and mixed conifer vegetation on the upper elevations of Apache Maid Mountain. While no structures are currently threatened and no evacuations have been ordered, the fire’s smoke has become a noticeable presence for those driving along Interstate 17 near the Stoneman Lake exit, located just 5 miles north.
Rugged, steep terrain has posed challenges for firefighters working to dig containment lines and access the fire on the ground. Aerial resources have been crucial, including the use of a helicopter and drone for reconnaissance and strategically setting smaller controlled burns along the fire’s edge to starve it of fuel. Four hand crews, two engines, a bulldozer and a medic unit are also assigned to the incident, which has total personnel numbering 81.
Looking ahead, fire officials hope to increase containment over the next couple days as burnout operations continue. The public is advised to expect smoke impacts to the surrounding areas, including communities like Camp Verde, Sedona and Rimrock. Motorists along Interstate 17 between mileposts 285 and 310 should anticipate smoky conditions and drive cautiously.
Another update will be provided this evening on the status of the Maid Fire. Fire managers continue to monitor smoke movement, address terrain hazards, and utilize aerial and on-the-ground resources to gain control of the 543-acre wildfire.
Cover photo courtesy of: Coconino National Forest