Two wildfires burning in the wilderness west and southwest of Flagstaff, both caused by lightning, continue to burn in the wilderness, reports AZCentral.com. A containment percentage wasn’t immediately available for the Platypus (4,048 acres) and Perkins (353 acres) fires, according to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, a coalition of federal, state, local and tribal partners.
The group warned that the area will be smoky for the next couple days and urged sensitive groups – including those with respiratory difficulty, children and seniors – to limit outdoor activity.
Coconino Forest Service spokesperson Brienne Pettit said fire crews have largely stopped the Platypus Fire from spreading to the north and east. Although the blaze could grow slightly, no communities are in danger, Pettit said.
“Our biggest message is that even though we should expect to see a decrease in smoke over the coming week, now that our burnout operations are complete, smoke will continue to be noticeable throughout the Flagstaff and Sedona areas for a while as the main fire continues to move through unburned pockets of fuel,” Pettit said.
Sedona Fire Chief Kris Kazian updated residents on the fire’s status, which was discovered July 28, but had not yet been extinguished.
Marie Collart, a Sedona resident and former clinical nurse specializing in respiratory diseases, worries about the prolonged smoke exposure affecting people living in the area. “Sedona is known for beautiful hiking trails, and it’s just not safe for people to get out and exercise in this kind of polluted environment,” Collart said.