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Summary

The Mangum Fire was first reported around 3 pm MST on June 8th, 2020 southwest of Jacob Lake, Arizona within the Kaibab National Forest. A Type 4 Incident Management Team responded that evening and began suppression efforts. The fire spread northeastward over the next few days due to low relative humidity and southwesterly winds. A Type 2 Southwest Incident Management Team replaced the Type 4 team on June 11th. Strong southwesterly winds spotted embers over US Highway 89A. The fire eventually spread out of the Kaibab National Forest and into pinyon juniper and sage brush grasslands northeast of Jacob Lake. Impacts from the Mangum Fire were felt throughout northern Arizona. The North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, the town of Jacob Lake and residences along House Rock Road were evacuated. Much of Kaibab National Forest and Bureau of Land Managment public lands located on the Kaibab Plateau and across the Arizona Strip were closed. The North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park was closed during this period. Smoke from the Mangum Fire could be seen well into central Utah.

Mangum Fire perimeter as of June 30th, 2020.

Mangum Fire perimeter as of June 30th, 2020.

Fire progression

The Mangum Fire progressed mainly northeast through the first week and a half before westerly winds pushed the fire eastward and downslope off the Kaibab Plateau.

Timeline

  • Day 1: June 8th, 2020
    • Fire first reported around 3:00 PM MST southwest of Jacob Lake, Arizona
    • A Type 4 local Incident Management Team responded and began suppression efforts
  • Days 2-3: June 9th and 10th, 2020
    • A Type 2 Incident Management Team was ordered, along with an NWS Flagstaff Incident Meteorologist, on the 9th and responded in the evening of the 10th
    • Fire grew to around 2,200 acres
  • Day 4: June 11th, 2020
    • The Type 2 Southwest Incident Management Team #3 took over command at 0600 MST
    • Fire grew to around 6,000 acres
  • Day 5: June 12th, 2020
    • The fire grew to 10,813 acres and was 2% contained
      • Blowing embers created spot fires up to 1/2 mile ahead of the main fire
      • 10 additional linear miles were added to the fire length
    • Evacuations for Jacob Lake, AZ and the northern rim of Grand Canyon National Park were ordered
    • SR-67 and parts of US Hwy 89A were closed to all traffic
    • Overnight burn outs were conducted
    • 232 personnel were now active on the fire
  • Day 6: June 13th, 2020
    • Fire grew to around 14,800 acres with continued 2% containment
    • Full suppression strategy continued
    • Structure protection crews continued to prepare structures around Jacob Lake ahead of advancing fire
    • 392 personnel were now active on the fire
  • Day 7: June 14th, 2020
    • The morning update around 7 AM showed the fire grew to 19,806 acres with continued 2% containment 
    • The fire has crossed Highway 89A and continues to move toward the northeast, directly at Jacob Lake
  • Day 8: June 15th, 2020
    • Fire increased to 24,708 across with still only 2% containment.
    • Fire activity was moderate until the late afternoon when winds and fuels combined to push the fire significantly to the north and east. This occurred north of Jacob Lake.
    • While reduced, risk to structures in Jacob Lake still exists.
  • Day 9: June 16th, 2020
    • The fire grew once again with the morning update showing a size of 29,689 acres
    • Red Flag Conditions with strong southwest winds and low relative humidity values hampered fire fighting efforts
  • Day 10: June 17th, 2020
    • Breezy afternoon winds and low relative humidity allowed the fire to expand to 56,780 acres and was 3% contained
    • The fire continued to burn in pinyon juniper and sage brush grassland a few miles south of the UT/AZ border.
  • Day 11: June 18th, 2020
    • 61,210 acres have been burned to date
    • Westerly to northwesterly winds pushed the fire eastward into more pinyon juniper and sage brush grasslands
    • 584 personnel are now working to contain the Mangum Fire
  • Day 12: June 19th, 2020
    • ​The morning update stated 64,509 acres have been burned so far
    • Favorable weather conditions allowed for some additional work towards containment
    • Personnel on the fire continues to increase, with 678 people now providing assistance
  • Day 13: June 20th, 2020
    • ​Fire growth continues to slow, with 66,294 acres burned as of the morning update
    • Light winds have aided in fire fighting efforts, as containment has increased to 23%
    • The main work this day was done to widen contingency fire breaks along both Winter and House Rock Roads
  • Day 14: June 21st, 2020
    • Westerly winds pushed the fire towards House Rock Valley
    • The most active portion of the fire was on the northeast edge where air tankers and helicopters were used to interrupt new fire moving eastward
    • Other areas of the fire are beginning to cool with containment lines holding
  • Day 15: June 22nd, 2020
    • Containment reached 33% with 71,043 acres burned to date
  • Day 16: June 23rd, 2020
    • Fire movement was stopped along House Rock Road within the northeastern part of the fire
    • 71,108 acres have burned to date
    • 565 personnel continue to work the fire
  • Day 17: June 24th, 2020
    • Fire most active north of Hwy 89A with 599 total personnel active on the fire
    • 71,325 acres have burned
  • Day 18: June 25th, 2020
    • Fire considered contained near the Jacob Lake, Arizona area
    • Announced that SR 67 and US Hwy 89A could reopen on Sunday, June 28th
    • Containment was at 46% with 71,420 acres burned
    • Power was restored to Grand Canyon National Park
  • Day 19: June 26th, 2020
    • Fire perimeter grew very little over the previous two days and was limited to now 71,450 acres burned
    • Containment did shrink though as it is now only 51% contained. 652 personnel remain actice on the fire.
  • Day 20: June 27th, 2020
    • Announced that the Jacob Lake evacuation order will be lifted on the following day.
    • A new order continuing the closure of BLM public lands went into effect until further notice
  • Day 21: June 28th, 2020
    • SR 67 and US Highway 89A reopened to public travel at 0600 MST
  • Day 24: July 1st, 2020
    • Fire crews focused on suppression repair (cleaning up after the fire response)
      • Grading roads and fall and removing standing snags (burnt and dead vegetation)
    • The perimeter of the fire continued to be patrolled
Impacts
  • Two cabins and two outbuildings were consumed in the fire.
  • SR-67 and US Hwy 89A (between Fredonia and Marble Canyon) were closed.
  • Residents and visitors in Jacob Lake and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon were evacuated to Kanab, Utah.
  • Three residences along House Rock Road north of US 89A were evacuated. The Road was closed until further notice.
  • The North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park was closed.
  • Parts of Kaibab National Forest were closed.
  • Temporary Flight Restrictions for commercial and private planes, helicopters and drones were enacted over the fire area.
  • Overnight reductions in visibility were observed at Page Airport (KPGA)
  • Bureau of Land Management Arizona Strip District Office issued a temporary area closure in the following areas:
    • South of UT/AZ state line
    • East of Kanab Creek
    • East of BLM Road 1021
    • Stateline south along BLM road 1065 (House Rock Valley) to include Road 1065
    • North of Kaibab National Forest
  • Rock Wildlife Area was closed
Pictures


A large smoke plume could be seen from the town of Jacob Lake during the afternoon of Saturday June 13th, 2020. Photo Credit: Brian Schnee

A large smoke plume could be seen from the town of Jacob Lake during the afternoon of Saturday June 13th, 2020. Photo Credit: Brian Schnee

The intial smoke plume as seen on Wednesday June 8th, 2020 by Tyler Detwiler.

Initial Mangum Fire smoke plume as seen on Wednesday June 8th, 2020. Photo Credit: Tyler Detwiler

Extreme fire behavior on the Mangum Fire for June 12, 2020 produces large column of smoke. Photo Credit: Kaibab National Forest

Extreme fire behavior on the Mangum Fire throughout June 12, 2020 produces a large column of smoke. Photo Credit: Kaibab National Forest

Commercial flights out of Flagstaff Pulliam Airport were stopped at 8am Thursday January 21st due to deteriorating weather conditions. Photo Credit: Deborah Olin

Multiple agencies, both local and regional, repsonded to the Mangum Fire. The Sedona, Arizona Fire Department sent a group of EMTs to the fire scene. Photo Credit: Sedona Fire Department

Satellite imagery depicting a fire hotspot produced by the Mangum Fire.

Satellite infrared imagery showing fire hotspots across Arizona on Saturday June 13th, 2020 with the Mangum Fire circled in yellow. Photo Credit: Wildfire Today using GOES-17 imagery

Smoke from Mangum Fire as seen from Fredonia, Ariz., on June 8, 2020. Photo by C.J. Adams. Credit Kaibab National Forest.

Smoke from Mangum Fire as seen from Fredonia, Ariz., on June 8, 2020. Photo by C.J. Adams. Credit Kaibab National Forest

Residents and visitors to the Kaibab Plateau were evacuated as the Mangum Fire grew in size. The Jacob Lake and the northern rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

Residents and visitors to the Kaibab Plateau were evacuated as the Mangum Fire grew in size. The Jacob Lake and the northern rim of Grand Canyon National Park were the primary evacuation areas. Photo Credit: Brian Schnee

Extreme fire behavior on the Mangum Fire for June 12, 2020. Photo Credit: Kaibab National Forest

Extreme fire behavior on the Mangum Fire which took place on June 12, 2020. Photo Credit: Kaibab National Forest

Sun rises behind smoke produced from Mangum Fire June 12, 2020. Photo Credit: Kaibab National Forest

Sun rises behind smoke produced from Mangum Fire in the early morning hours of June 12, 2020. Photo Credit: Kaibab National Forest

Very large air tanker flies past smoke column for the Mangum Fire June 12, 2020. Photo Credit: Kaibab National Forest

Very large air tanker flies past the Mangum Fire smoke column on June 12, 2020. Photo Credit: Kaibab National Forest

View of the Mangum Fire smoke column from the Fredonia High School. Photo Credit: Kaibab National Forest

View of the Mangum Fire smoke column from the Fredonia High School. Photo Credit: Kaibab National Forest

Smoke produced from the Mangum Fire for June 12, 2020. Photo Credit: Kaibab National Forest

Smoke produced from the Mangum Fire on June 12, 2020. Photo Credit: Kaibab National Forest

Meteorology
 

Fuels (grasses, shrubs, etc.) in early to mid-June are typically very dry and this held true in June 2020. The Drypark Remote Automatic Weather Station recorded Energy Release Component values above the 90th percentile in early June. The dry fuels combined with typical low relative humidity and breezy southwesterly afternoon winds during the first few days allowed the fire to spread northeastward across the Kaibab Plateau. By June 11th, winds began to increase out ahead of a Pacific Northwest low pressure system. The increased winds (Figure 1) and very low relative humidity values (Figure 2) created critical fire weather conditions on June 12th and  13th. The Mangum Fire rapidly expanded in size these two days. Elevated afternoon mixing heights on the 12th and 13th allowed for smoke created by the fire to reach 17,000 feet above ground level (about 24,000 feet MSL). The smoke column and plume were easily depicted on KICX radar imagery as the smoke was transported north-northeastward, mainly into Utah. Although, smoke was observed in Page, Arizona during the morning hours on June 14th and caused temporary reductions in visibility at Page Airport (KPGA). A shift in wind direction to the west/northwest occurred on June 17th and 18th. The change in wind direction drove the fire in a more east-southeastward direction versus the previous north-northeastward fire direction.

Very strong daytime winds on Saturday June 13th

Figure 1. A strong low pressure system centered off the Washington state coast between June 11th and June 14th created tightened gradients aloft. Gusty winds mixed to the surface each afternoon. Wind gusts upwards of 40 mph were forecast and observed.

Very low relative humidity values on Saturday June 13th

Figure 2. A typical very dry low and mid-level air mass setup over far northern Arizona in mid-June. Forecast afternoon minimum relative humidity values were in the low teens and single digits with very little overnight recovery.

Points of Contact

For more information on impacts and general inquiries about this event, please reference the contacts below:

  • National Weather Service:
    • Brian Klimowski, Meteorologist-in-Charge at (928) 556-9161 ext. 222 or brian.klimowski@noaa.gov
    • Tony Merriman, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at (928) 556-9161 ext. 223 or tony.merriman@noaa.gov
  • Kaibab National Forest: at 928-635-8200