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Excavator Striking A Rock Is Likely The Cause Of The Museum Fire

photo courtesy of Coconino National Forest
photo courtesy of Coconino National Forest

An excavator hitting a rock is likely the cause of the Museum Fire. The announcement of preliminary results was made Thursday morning by the Coconino National Forest. Fire investigators say the human-caused wildfire started in a steep slope environment associated with critical restoration work. When the equipment hit the rock, investigators say the resulting spark created a heat source that hibernated until warm, dry and windy conditions arrived that caused it to grow into a small fire at first, then into the Museum Fire. The work was being done in conjunction with a thinning project. The cause of the fire was not a result of negligence by the crew and workers performed all required protocols to prevent a wildfire. The Museum Fire started on July 21st and burned nearly two-thousand acres. The fire created high flooding potential, but this year’s Monsoon season has been weak, so flooding so far hasn’t been an issue. At one time, over 700 firefighters fought the Museum Fire, just north of Flagstaff. Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans and Forest Service District Manager of Flagstaff Matt McGrath will join Dave Friday morning at 7:15 a.m. to talk about the findings.

Dave talked with Brady Smith of the Coconino National Forest. Click here to listen to the interview.