Monday, June 19, 2017

Changing Weather Keeps Highline Firefighters Alert

Highline Fire - June 19, 2017 Morning Update
Gazette Blog editor's note: With Highline Fire operations winding down, this will be the last update we will post unless conditions change dramatically.

Acres: 6,634 acres (based on infrared data)
Start Date: June 10, 2017
Cause: Unknown, under investigation
Origin: 8 mi N of Payson in 1990 Dude Fire Scar
Containment: 76%
Fuels: Grass, brush, heavy and down fuels, ponderosa pine and mixed conifer
Total personnel: 1,224                                                  
Last night crews completed the strategic firing operations in Bear Canyon to remove remaining unburned fuels between firelines.  Crews are now focused on mopping up any remaining heat near containment lines and patrolling for spot fires.  Crews continued to patrol and monitor the Ellison Creek and along the Rim.  All lines are holding on the southern flank of the fire and remaining hotspots have diminished.  Infrared flights are being used to detect remaining heat for crews on the ground.  Line is considered contained after crews have completed mop-up of heat along the fireline and the risk of spotting has been eliminated.  
Today firefighters will focus on mop-up and holding line around last night’s strategic firing operations along Bear Canyon. On the fire’s south flank crews will continue to mop-up hotspots along containment lines, patrol for spot fires, and continue suppression repair.
Repair of suppression impacts (dozer and handlines, equipment staging areas and safety zones) continues.  This includes construction of water bars to channel water off lines during monsoon rain events.  In areas where brush was cleared crews are now using chippers to remove slash piles along control lines.
Today thunderstorms are likely over the fire area potentially bringing dry lightning and strong erratic winds. While typical up canyon winds are expected to develop today crews are prepared for rapidly changing conditions associated with developing storms. 
Firefighters are prepared to respond to new lightning fires in the area. The Incident Management Team has assumed initial attack responsibility for new starts in the vicinity of Highline Fire and is prepared to make resources (helicopters, engines and crews) available to new fires in the surrounding area.  Crews and equipment surplus to these needs will be released and made available for other fires.
No additional community meetings are planned at this time.  Updates will continue to be posted to the social media sites listed below and Information Officers will be out in the communities posting updated information at key locations.
All Evacuations and pre-evacuations have been lifted.  Some roads near the fire are open to residents and fire crews only due to heavy fire equipment traffic.
The Coconino and Tonto National Forests Closure Orders and Fire Restrictions remain in effect.
Firefighters are working to protect values at risk where they can do so safely and effectively.  Values include watersheds, private property and adjoining communities, pipelines, range improvements, powerlines, air quality, prehistoric and historic resources, federally protected species, and nationally and regionally significant trail systems. 
Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. More info: Know Before You Fly,
Fire Information: (928) 985-0097 and (928) 362-2916 (8:00 am to 8:00 pm)
Media Line: 928-793-1955
Arizona Emergency Information:

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