Evacuation orders have been issued in communities surrounding the 6,000-acre Backbone Fire, which originated approximately 12 miles west of Pine and Strawberry, and 15 miles southeast of Camp Verde. The fire has moved across Fossil Creek with 0 percent containment. Hot, dry and windy weather conditions have led to extreme fire behavior. Evacuation orders are in place for residents and visitors of nearby areas such as Strawberry and Pine. The Gila County Sheriff’s Office has moved residents of the Hunts Ranch and Strawberry into GO status.
State Route 260 is closed between Camp Verde and State Route 87. Motorists can contact the Arizona Department of Transportation or visit AZ511 for updates on road closures and traffic. While there is electrical infrastructure in the area of the fire, APS does not anticipate a loss of service. However, APS may take lines out of service if needed to protect firefighters working on the fire. Nearby residents can visit the APS website or contact APS for outage information. Rough and rocky terrain coupled with limited area access and extreme heat are creating challenges for the roughly 100 personnel assigned to the fire, which includes one Hotshot crew, one hand crew, one fuels module, three helicopters and miscellaneous overhead. The fire is currently 0 percent contained and more resources have been requested. 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. Closures and other changes to recreation site status will be made available on the recreation page of the Coconino National Forest’s website. The lightning-caused fire was first reported 11:30 p.m. June 16.
Details about the Backbone Fire will be posted on InciWeb as well as Facebook and Twitter.
Percent Containment: 67%
Date/Time Detected: Friday, June 4, 2021, 1:30 p.m.
Structures burned: 51
Number of Personnel: 915
Cause: Human, under investigation
Origin/Location: South of Superior, Arizona
Residents of El Capitan returned to their homes this morning and are now on “Set” evacuation status. Firefighters will mop-up and patrol in this area over the next several days. Crews worked with helicopters to suppress an unburned pocket of brush that flared up north of Government Springs. They also patrolled the SR 77, SR 177, and Dripping Springs Road corridors to protect values at risk and take suppression action where necessary. Firefighters are monitoring the fire as it backs off the Mescal Mountains through rugged, inaccessible terrain in the southeast corner of the fire area, and will take suppression actions if it threatens SR 77. Residents in the Globe-Miami area can expect to see light to moderate smoke for the next few days from the upper Kellner, and Icehouse Canyons as the fire backs down-slope through the area burned by the 2017 Pinal Fire. The Red Cross Evacuation Shelters at Highline Middle School and Skyline High School closed today but are ready to reopen if they’re needed. Suppression repair continued near Top-of-the-World.
Members of the Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 6 will work alongside current fire managers to gain familiarity with the area, fire conditions and available resources prior to taking over management of the fire Saturday afternoon. Firefighters will continue to monitor the fire backing down in pine stands on Pinal Peak. Crews will monitor the fire near Government Springs Ranch, and ensure that values at risk are not impacted. Fire crews will monitor and patrol El Capitan, and the communities along Dripping Springs Road overnight. The Contingency Group will continue to identify roads and other possible contingency lines they can use to contain the fire south of the Troy and Tiger Mountain area and prevent it from spreading south towards SR 177 and the values at risk along that corridor.
Evacuation status as of 11:30 a.m. June 18: “GO” – Dripping Springs, Wind Spirit, Hagen Ranch, Slash S Ranch, Government Springs. Evacuation status “SET” – El Capitan East and West, Six Shooter and Icehouse Canyons. Evacuation status” READY” – Superior, Globe, Miami, Claypool, Central Heights, Pinto/Carlotta, Skill Center, Fairgrounds, Schulze Ranch, Ray Mine, Top-of-the-World, Bellevue, Oak Flat, Beverly Hills, Riverside, Kearney, Winkelman, Hayden, Battle Axe area.
Notifications can change rapidly. Residents in areas affected by the fire should remain vigilant and be prepared to evacuate. Evacuation notifications are issued when danger is imminent and life threatening.
The Mescal fire is being mopped up.
The PinnacleFire is now 27,807 acres and 15% contained. There are 428 personnel assigned. Tonight, night operations will pick up where the day shift left and continue to hold the lines around structures and monitor the fire.
When there is no water, we bring it! This afternoon the helicopters worked the hot edge of the fire to cool things down and keep the fire in the Wilderness as much as possible. The largest of the orange swimming pools called “pumpkins” holds 10k gallons. They are supported by multiple water tanker trucks for filling.