Arizona Wildfires – Update 6/28/2021

Rock Butte Fires
Location:  Five fires north of Paulden and west of Hwy 89

Start Date: 6/17/2021-6/18/2021

Size:  Rock Butte -126 acres, Red Hat – 49 acres, Limestone – 33 acres, Silent – 27 acres, Spring – 567 acres

Percent Contained:   Limestone, Silent, Red Hat are 100% contained; Rock Butte – 85%; Spring – 75%

Cause: Lightning

Summary:  Management of the Rock Butte Fires has transitioned to a Type 4 Team. Fire managers’ main objective today is to patrol and monitor all 5 fives in the Rock Butte Fire area. Crews will continue to check the fire perimeters and be available for initial attack if afternoon thunderstorms bring lightning. Resource advisors report that the fire lines are in good condition.

Crew Resources:   3-Engines (12 personnel), 1 – Crew module (9 personnel), 1 – Resource Advisor

Weather:  Forecast is for a sunny day with warm temperatures with highs on the low 90’s, light northeast winds, 12% relative humidity and 0% chance of precipitation. Chance of showers tomorrow with 13-18% relative humidity.

Closures: Due to fire danger, dry conditions, and persistent wildfire activity during a time when firefighting resources are scarce, the entirety of the Prescott National Forest will close for public safety, beginning Friday (June 25) at 8 a.m. See Prescott NF Forest website for more information.

For information on the Prescott National Forest, check out the Prescott NF website and following us on Facebook and Twitter.


Rafael Fire

Acres: 76,322

Percent Containment: 48%

Date/Time Detected: Friday, 06/18/2021 at 1927 MST Structures Damaged/Destroyed: 0
Number of Personnel: 633

Cause: Lightning

Origin/Location: 4 miles north of Perkinsville

Firefighters have completed a firing operation from White Horse Lake Recreation Site to JD Dam and west towards Wagner Hill, using forest roads as a fire break. Aerial ignitions were utilized to provide depth along roads and along the edge of Sycamore Canyon. This will create a backing fire which will limit burn severity to soils and vegetation in Sycamore Canyon.  This completes the large burning operations that were designed to halt fire progression to the north. Smoke is expected to decrease significantly from the fire in the coming days.

Crews mopped up and patrolled along the previous days’ burnout from Turkey Butte lookout to the Boy Scout camp on the northeast edge of the fire. This operation was designed to prevent movement of the fire to the northeast toward Flagstaff, and other values at risk. Near the fire origin, crews mopped up hot spots north to Government Canyon. On the south side of the fire, helirappelers were utilized to contain a hotspot below Casner Mountain and firefighters continued hand line in Mooney Canyon, and structure protection specialists assessed protection measures for values at risk from Loy Canyon to Seven Canyons Resort. A BAER (Burned Area Emergency Response) team began assessing fire impacts to soils and watersheds on the west side of the fire.

Evacuation status as of 6 p.m. June 27 (Notifications are in place until status is rescinded or changed by each respective

County Sheriff’s Office):

“GO” in Coconino County Sycamore Canyon and in Yavapai County, Loy Ranch.

American Red Cross (ARC) activated a shelter to support those who have been evacuated due to the fire. ARC Shelter is located at Sinagua Middle School, 3950 E. Butler Ave., Flagstaff, AZ 86004.

“SET” – in Coconino County, Garland Prairie South and Garland Prairie North. In Yavapai County, Grey Ranch, Windmill Ranch and Bear Mountain.

“READY” -– in Coconino County, South of Williams, Sherwood Forest, Camp Navajo, West of I-17 south of I-40, Westwood Estates, Flagstaff Ranch (including W.L. Gore), Mountain Dell, Pine Del, Forest Highlands, Kachina Village, University Heights, Equestrian Estates, Upper Oak Creek canyon, West Fork, Lower Oak Creek Canyon and in Yavapai County, Sedona.


Backbone Fire

Current as of 6/27/2021, 7:36:35 PM
Incident Type: Wildfire
Cause: Lightning
Date of Origin: Wednesday June 16th, 2021 approx. 11:30 PM
Location: 2 miles west of Pine, Arizona.
Incident Commander Alan Sinclair, SW Area Type 1 Commander
Coordinates 34.344 latitude, -111.677 longitude
Current Situation
Total Personnel 632
Size 40,855 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained 43%
Estimated Containment Date Thursday July 15th, 2021 approx. 12:00 AM

Strawberry residents have been allowed to return to their homes as of 4 pm Sunday.

As of June 27, 2021, the fire is at 40,855 acres and 35% contained with 697 people assigned to the fire.


West Chev/Wyrick Fires

Start Date: Saturday, June 19, 2021

Acres: Wyrick: 7,592 acres

Cause: Lightning

Location: 2 miles north of Mogollon HS, Heber, AZ

Containment: 76%

Total Personnel: 325

West Chev

Start Date: Saturday, June 19, 2021

Acres: 1,170 acres

Cause: Lightning

Location: 12.5 miles northwest of Heber, AZ

Containment:  62%

Fire related traffic will remain high in and around the communities of Heber – Overgaard. Motorists travelling on State Route 260 should be aware of and watch out for this extra traffic.

Overview: Although both fires currently show greater than 60 percent containment, potential remains for active fire behavior and movement.  Fuels are very dry and susceptible to igniting and burning. Smoke may be seen over the Wyrick Fire as fuels inside containment lines continue to burn. The West Chev fire will produce smoke as the fire burns up to containment lines.

Wyrick: Fire crews secured additional sections of fire line Saturday, increasing overall containment to 76 percent. Dry fuels continue to smolder with occasional flare-ups.  Firefighters are working to cool these hotspots near containment lines, as well as toward the interior of the fire, strengthening and expanding the depth of containment lines. Today these efforts will be concentrated on the south edge of the fire between the 504 and 95 roads. The fires edge here is uneven with unburned fuels remaining near the containment line. In addition, suppression repair work will be done on secondary containment lines. This includes placing water bars on lines to limit erosion and chipping slash created during line construction.

West Chev:  Saturday firefighters made good progress on the West Chev Fire. Although fuels are very dry due to prolonged drought, past fire management activities in the area have reduced existing fuel amounts. This results in moderate fire behavior with the fire remaining mostly on the ground. These more favorable conditions provide better options for fire managers. Firefighters will continue utilizing existing Forest Roads 169B and 180Z for containment. They plan to construct containment line across Circle Bar draw between these roads encircling the fire. Crews may, if needed burn existing fuel between these containment lines and the fire edge in order to secure the fires west side.


Telegraph Fire

Acres: 180,755

Number of Personnel: 305

Percent Containment: 91%

Cause: Human, under investigation

Date/Time Detected: Friday, June 4, 2021, 1:30 p.m. 

Origin/Location: South of Superior, Arizona

Structures burned: 52

Temporary flight restriction reduced over the area, opening the Globe and Cutter airports

Crews will continue with suppression repair efforts, including backhauling firefighting equipment and rehabilitating fire control lines along the U.S. Route 60 corridor and near El Capitan. Crews will also work to remove standing dead trees that pose a hazard on Pinal Mountain. Smoke was still visible as isolated hot spots continued to smolder in Icehouse Canyon. These hot spots are expected to continue to creep and smolder until the area experiences a wetting rainfall event. The temporary flight restriction over the area was reduced in size, allowing for the Globe and Cutter airports to reopen. A temporary flight restriction remains in place over other parts of the burned area. For more information visit

Monsoonal moisture is forecasted to move into the area beginning Monday, which may increase the threat of soil erosion, debris flows, and flash flooding from the burned area. Gila County Health and Emergency Management will have informational resources available to residents to help them prepare for possible flooding. Sign up for real-time emergency alerts at and follow Gila County Health and Emergency Management on Facebook or Twitter for more information. For Pinal County residents, see locations where sandbags are available and sign up for emergency alerts at

Evacuation status as of 8 a.m. June 27: 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, Kearny, Winkelman, Hayden, Battle Axe area, Dripping Springs, Wind Spirit, Hagen Ranch, Slash S Ranch, Government Springs, El Capitan East and West, Six Shooter and Icehouse Canyons.

Closures and Fire Restrictions:


Walnut Fire

  • Location: Texas Canyon-area
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Percent Contained: 56%
    Date Reported: June 20, 2021
  • Size: 10,650 acres

The lightning-caused Walnut Fire, burning in Little Dragoon Mountain since June 20, has grown to 10,650 acres with 105 personnel assigned. Chances of precipitation are predicted daily over the coming week. The potential for fire growth has slowed drastically.

As the incident lowers in complexity, the current Albuquerque Zone Incident Management team will transition the fire back to the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management in the next couple of days. Today, crews will continue to mop-up any smoke that may arise, construct containment lines where necessary, monitor active fire, and provide additional structure protection. As fire activity continues to slow, more crews and equipment will be released from the fire to support other incidents within the region.

Safety: Safety of the public and firefighters is always the top priority in wildland fire operations. Drivers are encouraged to please slow down within the fire area to help keep firefighters safe.

Fire Restrictions: State Trust Land in all 15 counties is closed for recreational use. Bureau of Land
Management lands are under Stage II restrictions. For fire restriction information –


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