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Contact: Lisa Leap, 928-526-1157
FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA – Flagstaff Area National Monuments' (FLAG) Acting-Superintendent Lisa Leap announced that a wildland fire started in Wupatki National Monument at 5 PM on Friday, July 5th, 2013 just north of the Citadel Pueblo. The surrounding trails were immediately evacuated and a nearby section of the 545 Road was closed for approximately 6 hours that evening.
Forest Service fire suppression efforts began shortly afterwards which included 3 engines, 2 water tenders and 2 hotshot crews; a total of 80 firefighters responded. Efforts were aided by rain later that evening. Likely caused by lightning, the "White Fire" spread quickly through grassy pinyon-juniper fuels and has burned approximately 1400 acres.
Initial attack efforts continued on Saturday and containment is expected over the weekend. Currently the 545 Road and all monument trails are open. Visitors are reminded to check-in at the monument Visitor Centers for updated fire and weather conditions.
Walnut Canyon National Monument is located 10 miles east of downtown Flagstaff via I-40 and can be reached at (928)526-3367 and on the web at "www.nps.gov/waca." Wupatki National Monument is 26 miles north of Flagstaff via Hwy 89, and can be reached at (928)679-2365 and "www.nps.gov/wupa." Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is located six miles east of down Flagstaff via Hwy 89 and can be reached at (928)526-0502 and "www.nps.gov/sucr."