Arizona Wildfires Update – As of June 17th, 2021

Photo: The Pinnacle Fire

Telegraph Fire

Acres: 173,202  Percent Containment: 72% Date/Time Detected: Friday, June 4, 2021, 1:30 p.m.   Structures damaged/destroyed: 51 Number of Personnel: 953 Cause: Human, under investigation Origin/Location: South of Superior, Arizona

Firefighters secured fire south of Troy Mountain and Tiger Mountain checking the spread south toward Riverside. Fire continued to back down the Mescal Mountains on the southeast end of the fire. A contingency fire line is being prepared south of the main fire that ties into the Mescal Fire. Crewcontinued cleanup of FR 615, providing access to cooperators to service infrastructure on Pinal and Signal Peaks. Mop up continued in El Capitan, and residents of El Capitan will be allowed to access their property tomorrow.  Firefighters completed a firing operation in upper Icehouse and Kellner Canyons to maintain low intensity fire on the steep slopes.  In the U.S. Route 60 corridor, firefighters continued to patrol and mop up. Decreased fire activity on the north portion of the fire prompted evacuation status to go from “set” to “ready” at Top-of-the-World, Bellevue, Oak Flat, and Beverly Hills.

Firefighters will patrol SR 77 and SR 177 corridors, and the Dripping Springs Road to protect values at risk, and take suppression action where feasible.  Crews will hold the fire east of the Ray Mine.  A finger of fire near the Homestead Climbing Area is approaching SR 77, and will be monitored in preparation of suppression action if necessary. For information on evacuation status, road closures, and fire activity, there will be a virtual community meeting every day at 6 p.m. until further notice, on the Incident Facebook page:

Evacuation status as of 8 p.m. June 17 “GO” – El Capitan (east and west), Dripping Springs, Wind Spirit, Hagen Ranch, Slash S Ranch, Government Springs.  Evacuation status “SET” – Six Shooter Canyon and Icehouse Canyon.  Evacuation status” READY” – Superior, Globe, Miami, Claypool, Central Heights, Pinto/Carlotta, Skill Center, Fairgrounds, Schultz Ranch, Ray Mine, Top-of-the-World, Bellevue, Oak Flat, Beverly Hills, Riverside, Kearney, Winkelman, Hayden, Battle Axe area. The Tonto National Forest has initiated Stage 2 Fire Restrictions for the entire forest, effective 8 a.m. on June 11. All State Land is under Stage 2 restrictions effective 8 a.m. on June 11. The San Carlos Indian Reservation has initiated Stage 3 fire restrictions for the entire reservation, effective June 14, 2021. All Bureau of Land Management lands in Arizona are under Stage 2 fire restrictions effective June 11, 2021.  See: 

Mescal Fire

No change in acreage or containment from yesterday.  The fire is 90% contained. There are 5 type 6 engines, 2 water tenders. 2 type 2IA crews, 1 BEAR team, 3 PTRC, 1 logistic, and 1 purchaser still assigned to the fire. With the agreement of Telegraph Fire IMT, the west end of the mescal fire will be tied to Telegraph. Coverage for the Mescal is from the casino along Hwy 70 heading east down to Soda Canyon area. Operation at this time is holding and patrolling the east end of Mescal and helping local agencies.

Pinnacle Fire

The Pinnacle Fire is estimated at 17,453 acres and 15% contained. Fire weather conditions continue to be extreme, resulting in active fire behavior. Night shift crews have been working through the night on improving constructed fire lines. Burn-out operations east of Klondyke continue, as weather conditions allow. The fire continues to grow due to the availability of fuels and rough terrain that limits safe access by ground forces. Fire managers have successfully utilized aerial resources, including Air Tankers to drop retardant to help slow the fire’s spread in critical areas. As strong afternoon winds develop, the use of aerial resources may have to be temporarily halted. The Coronado National Forest implemented a Closure Order for portions of the Santa Teresa Wilderness and Stage II Fire Restrictions are in effect. The Bureau of Land Management issued a Closure Order for public lands in the vicinity of the Pinnacle Fire, effective June 16, 2021. Detailed information is available on this site. Structure protection work is ongoing around evacuated structures in an effort to continue to improve their security.

Cornville Fire

The Cornville Fire, currently 92% contained, has not experienced any new growth over the last two days and continues to smolder at 1,240 acres.

Other than some internal pockets of the fire slowly burning and producing very light smoke, there has been no activity or movement of the wildfire. A handful of firefighters are patrolling and conducting mop-operations.

Backbone Fire

The Backbone Fire was reported on 6/16 at approximately 11:30 p.m. in an area 12 miles west of Strawberry on top of a landscape feature named Ike’s Backbone. It is burning in rough country just above where Fossil Creek and the Verde River converge. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

The Fossil Creek recreation area will be closed due to wildfire danger, which includes Waterfall Trail, Irving/Flume, Tonto Bench, Fossil Creek Bridge, Homestead, Sally May, Purple Mountain, and Mazatzal. More information will be posted here as it becomes available.

As of the evening of June 17, there is no threat to any communities.  However, areas such as Strawberry and Pine should always be ready for any call for evacuations should this or any other fire begin to threaten those communities.

Slate Fire

The Slate Fire is located in the Flagstaff Ranger District approximately 23 miles northwest of Flagstaff, adjacent to U.S. Highway 180. There are no structures or communities threatened. It is at 73% containment with 11, 435 acres burned.
Approximately 177 firefighters are assigned to the fire conducting burnout operations, patrolling and mop-up. The fire was reported at 3 a.m. on June 7, 2021 by an officer with the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office. Cause is unknown and under investigation.