Firefighters are working in hazardous conditions as they battle a lightning sparked wildfire in the Hualapai Mountains southeast of Kingman. The Ridge Fire that ignited Sunday about five miles south of the community of Pine Lake was zero percent contained at just under 1,000 acres Wednesday afternoon.
``Monsoon season patterns bring some very erratic and gusty winds and that is the real danger to crews on the line," Bureau of Land Management Fire Information Officer Dolores Garcia said Wednesday afternoon. ``Winds yesterday were blowing upwards of 50 miles an hour with sustained winds at 30 miles an hour for a good portion of the day. That's what led to much of the growth we saw yesterday and that's what we're looking at again this afternoon." Smoke blanketed the outline of the mountains Tuesday and Wednesday. More than 100 firefighters and Hot Shot crew members, aided by engines and limited air support, battled the flames from the ground. No injuries have been reported, no structures are threatened and no evacuations occurred by Wednesday afternoon. Garcia said the battle will likely continue into the weekend unless Mother Nature brings relief in the form of rain. ``The vegetation we're seeing out there is at varying levels. The fire goes from low elevation and desert brush to higher elevation ponderosa pine and pinon and juniper," Garcia said. ``What we're dealing with that is really difficult is the chapparal. It's very thick and burns very quickly. That's been challenging." The Ridge Fire has not impacted mountain ranches, but several roads and trails have been closed in the fire zone in the interest of public safety. Some of the closure information and a map can be found on inciweb (https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6990/). ``We are working closely with Mohave County Emergency Management," Garcia said. ``We encourage all residents to make sure that, whether it's this fire or another fire, that they are registered through the Mohave County code red alert system which is an emergency notification system." Garcia said the local emergency notification system and other important information about Arizona's Ready-Set-Go program can be accessed online (https://ein.az.gov/ready-set-go)