Maid Fire, a rare November wildfire, holds at 942 acres with 55% containment

Crews see more fires due to dry, windy conditions
Firefighters are reminding people about preventing wildfires as they gain ground against the Maid Fire in Yavapai County.
Published: Nov. 8, 2023 at 5:06 PM MST
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CAMP VERDE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Fire crews made major progress on the Maid Fire burning northeast of Lake Montezuma. Containment is now at 55% and the fire still sits at 942 acres.

Brady Smith is a part of the U.S. Forest Service team handling the fire. He said seeing fires like this one so late in the season is rare. “I mean it was kind of unusual for November to be a time where we’re fighting a wildfire that can be growing really quickly,” he said.

One of the reasons for the increased fire activity was a lack of rain and high wind speeds over the weekend. “We haven’t had rain for quite a while and so when you don’t have any moisture when you have low humidity levels, and then when you have winds that’s increased like we do in the fall time, it’s going to dry out the forest and that’s what we’re seeing right now,” Smith said.

Despite the warm weather and steep terrain, fire crews got a perimeter around the fire with help from above. “We have used a drone in many ways to map the perimeter of the fire,” Smith said. “But also to help bring fire by dropping what we call little ping pong balls to ignite and doing burn-out operations against the fire that’s coming out way.”

The cause of this human-started fire is still under investigation but Smith said this is a great reminder to be careful when you are recreating outdoors. “The conditions out there that are dry right now are going to be lending to an increase and capability and probability of wildfires that are human-caused,” he said. “So people really need to be careful.”

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