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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Highline Fire: Firefighters Prepare for High Temperatures and Up Canyon Winds

June 13, 2017 Morning Update
 
Acres: 933 acres (based on infrared flight)                            
Start Date: June 10, 2017
Cause: Unknown, under investigation                                    
Origin Location: 8 mi N of Payson in the 1990 Dude Fire Scar
Containment: 0%                                                                            
Fuels: Grass, brush, heavy dead and down, Ponderosa pine                                                                       and mixed conifer
Total personnel: 459

Crews completed strategic firing operations on the fire’s southwest flank along the Highline Trail yesterday and are working to improve these lines.  Firefighters strengthened fireline on the fire’s north side, tying it to the Bear Fire, which has played a key role in holding the northwest corner of the fire.  Firefighters face multiple hazards that include rolling debris, steep terrain, high temperatures, and dry fuels.
 
Today, fire crews will work to hold the fire north of Highline Trail.  As a precaution, crews and dozers are building contingency lines south of the Highline Trail and preparing communities for structural defense.  Homeowners can assist in making Firewise preparations around their homes. Firefighters may use strategic firing operations to remove unburned fuels between primary containment lines and the main fire.  Crews will continue to improve containment lines above the Rim.

Helicopters and fixed wing air tankers will be used to support firefighters on the ground.  
 
Hotter, drier weather is expected to increase over the next few days. While winds are expected to be lighter today, temperatures are likely to climb over the next several days. Lower humidities will result in increased fire behavior. 
 
Today topography will drive fire behavior. Fire activity is expected to increase this afternoon when temperatures warm creating up canyon winds, pushing the fire north toward containment lines on the Rim. However due to firefighter’s work in this area, little movement is expected on the north. On the south side of the fire, expect to see backing and flanking fire progressing downhill in the Bonita drainage towards Highline Trail. However, when fire and winds align with drainages, expect to see rapid uphill runs. Eastward movement will continue.
 
A Highline Fire Community Meeting will be held today at 6:00 p.m. at the Starlight Pines Community Center in Blue Ridge, AZ. American Sign Language (ASL) services will be provided
 
No evacuation orders are in effect at this time. A Precautionary Pre-Evacuation Notification is in effect for residents in Bonita Creek community.  It is important for residents in these areas to be prepared as conditions can change rapidly.
 
Coconino and Tonto National Forests (NF) Closure Orders and Fire Restrictions on the Tonto NF remain in effect.

Firefighters are working to limit the fire’s spread and protect values at risk where they can do so safely and effectively. These values include watersheds, private inholdings and local communities, pipelines, range improvements, powerlines, air quality, federally listed and sensitive species, and nationally and regionally significant trail systems.
 
Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. Every time a drone is spotted near the fire all aircraft are grounded until we can be sure the drone is clear of this area. More info visit Know Before You Fly, http://knowbeforeyoufly.org
 
Fire Information: (928) 985-0097 (8:00 am to 8:00 pm)
InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5233/ (Air Quality info, County Emergency Alert sign-up link, Firewise tips)
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/HighlineFireInfo/          
Twitter: https://twitter.com/highlinefire

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