HAPPY JACK, Ariz. — Crews plan to ignite forest debris to help completely contain a 2-week-old wildfire in the next several days, a move that is expected to send smoke toward downwind communities in eastern Arizona and produce a plume visible across north-central Arizona.
The fire has burned 15.5 square miles (40.1 sq. kilometers) between Happy Jack and Clints Well and fire managers hope the planned burnout operations starting Sunday will consume an additional 6.2 square miles (16 sq. kilometers) and also help protect a powerline.
The smoke plume is expected to be visible in multiple communities, including Camp Verde, Flagstaff, Payson, Payson, Pina, Sedona and Strawberry.
Officials say smoke is expected to blow toward Holbrook, Snowflake and Show Low early in the week.
Lightning started the fire May 19.