June 28 update: Backbone and Rafael fires
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Backbone Fire morning update for June 28:
- Acres: 40 855
- Percentage of containment: 43%
- Date of detection: June 16, 2021
- Affected staff: 632
- Cause: Lightning
- Origin / Location: About 12 miles west of Pine and Strawberry, Arizona
Increased containment on the backbone fire
Today begins a trend towards cooler, wetter conditions which will moderate fire behavior and facilitate suppression efforts. Fire crews will work at the edge of the fire looking for any remaining hot spots. They are supported by infrared drones and planes performing bucket drops as needed. Crews are also finishing shredding debris along the corridor of trunk roads 260 and 87. Firefighters will continue with suppression repair work in the fire area.
Public land closures: Due to the extreme fire danger, many Arizona National Forests have been closed to protect public health and safety. Please check your specific national forest website for closure notifications.
Road closures: State Route 260 is closed between Camp Verde and State Route 87. State Route 87 is closed at mile marker 270.5 north of Strawberry to Clint’s Well. Motorists are welcome to visit www.az511.com for current road closures.
Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) works closely with agencies that respond to wildfires statewide. Although the APS infrastructure was damaged due to the forest fires, at present there are no customers without power due to the fires, and no downtime is currently planned. APS is monitoring the progress of fires and will coordinate with emergency response agencies if there is a need to take power lines out of service to protect firefighters and / or if the fire or smoke affects the electrical infrastructure. Given the unpredictability of fires and weather conditions, APS encourages customers to visit aps.com/outagecenter for tips on how to prepare for an outage, to register for outage alerts, and to view the APS outage map.
Weather: Temperatures today will range from 94 to 104 degrees and humidity will be higher, ranging from 10 to 20%. Winds will continue to blow from the northeast with gusts of 25 mph possible. There will be a good chance of rain starting Tuesday.
Evacuations: The communities of Hunt Ranch, Strawberry and Pine are in “Set”. Residents and visitors should contact their county or visit ein.az.gov/ready-set-go for information on the evacuation status.
No drone zone: A temporary flight restriction remains in place over the Backbone Fire.
The fire danger remains extreme: Please use caution when recreating or working outdoors. Check fire restrictions or information on fire activity around Arizona at: wildlandfire.az.gov/.
Ridge fire information
• Telephone: (928) 362-4088
Rafael Fire Morning Update June 28:
- Acres: 77 102
- Percentage of containment: 48%
- Date / time of detection: June 18, 2021; 7:27 p.m.
- Damaged / destroyed structures: 0
- Number of employees : 633
- Cause: Lightning
- Origin / Location: 6 km north of Perkinsville
Today, on the north side of the fire, the teams will be heavily involved in securing the fire through patrol and clean-up activities. All perimeter fire operations are virtually complete, but the smoke from the combustion of indoor fuels will continue for a few days. Today, smoke is expected in the Verde Valley all the way to Prescott and as winds shift later today in the Williams area. Heavy smoke can settle deep in canyons and in low-lying communities in the Verde Valley over the next few nights. Smoke forecasts are available at Forest fire smoke forecast | ADEQ Arizona Environmental Quality Department (azdeq.gov) and fires.airfire.org/outlooks/NorthCentralArizona.
On the south side of the fire, aircraft will monitor the perimeter to determine if suppression measures are needed and structural protection specialists will continue to monitor at-risk values to avoid damage. Firefighters are ready for the initial attack over the next few days as the likelihood of thunderstorms and lightning increases. As containment increases, some crew and equipment are no longer needed and will be released for reassignment or for rest and recovery.
Evacuation status at 6:00 a.m. on June 28:
(Notifications are in place until status is revoked or changed by each respective county sheriff’s office)
“GO” in Coconino Sycamore Canyon County and in Yavapai County, Loy Ranch.
“TOGETHER” – in Coconino County, Garland Prairie South and Garland Prairie North. In Yavapai County, Gray Ranch, Windmill Ranch and Bear Mountain.
“READY” – in Coconino County, south of Williams, Sherwood Forest, Camp Navajo, west of I-17 south of 1-40, Westwood Estates, Flagstaff Ranch (including WL 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.
It’s fire season in northern Arizona. All residents of northern Arizona must have Loan status.
Information on the evacuation status is available on the Coconino County Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/CoconinoCounty Maps of the state of evacuations in Coconino County are available at: Coconino County Situational Awareness Viewer (arcgis.com)
Complete forest closures are in effect in Kaibab National Forest, Coconino National Forest and Prescott National Forest.
All Arizona State Trust grounds are closed as of Friday, June 25 at 8:00 a.m. Fire restrictions and closures across Arizona | Department of Forestry and Fire Management (az.gov)
For more information on the evacuation status and fire activity, there will be a virtual community meeting every day at 6 p.m. until further notice, on the incident’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/RafaelFireInfo/
Click here for the June 27 reports of the Backbone, Rafael and Rock Butte fires.
Is your business listed in the Official Prescott Valley Recreation Guide ?! 60,000 copies are printed each year! How to add your business? Call 928-257-4177 or send an email to email@example.com or fill out the form at www.signalsaz.com.