Most fire crews are heading home just days after delivering a knock-out blow to a wildfire that had sent smoke and ash into the Flagstaff area Sunday and Monday, but by Tuesday night was left smoldering.
The Taylor fire, reported at 6 a.m. Sunday, burned 3,545 acres in the Sycamore Canyon area, 22 miles southwest of Flagstaff. Fanned by gusting winds and a parched forest, the wildfire was likely crowning out Sunday before firefighters arrived, said Jeannie Gilbertson, spokeswoman for the Coconino National Forest.
But a relatively modest fire season so far allowed the Forest Service to throw plenty of resources at the Taylor fire Sunday and Monday.
The sheer number of available firefighters and resources, such as air attack, engines and water tenders, allowed firefighters to deliver a one-two punch.
"The turning point was we were able to order a lot of crews and they were able to get right in there and get that line punched in," Gilbertson said.
Aided by calmer winds Tuesday, firefighters had roughed out a containment line around 65 percent of the fire by nightfall.
At the height of efforts, 595 personnel were on the scene, but since Thursday, some crews have been sent home.
At fire camp located off Woody Mountain Road, the food caterer, showers and the fire information office will stay on through the weekend, as will a number of firefighters who will finish and reinforce the containment line, at 90 percent as of Friday, and begin mop-up duties.
Gilbertson said the Type II management team will handoff support duties to a Type III organization still on the scene managing crews and equipment.
The Peaks and Mormon Lake ranger districts of the Coconino N.F. will oversee the remainder of the incident.
Hunting season began Friday, and while the East Pocket area was reopended, parts of area 6B were closed because of the fire.
Additionally, the Kelsey Springs, Taylor Cabin and Winter Cabin trails are closed.
Forest roads 231A, 231 and 538D will remain open for thru traffic only.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Taylor Fire information from the Northern Arizona Incident Management Team