Update on Arizona fires, June 7, 2011

Updated at 6:07 p.m. MT, June 7, 2011: additional evacuation orders.

Wallow fire

Wallow fire

Wallow fire. Photo by Tim Hill

Update at 6:07 p.m. MT, June 7, 2011. This message was sent by the incident management team at 4:47 p.m. today. This is referring to the north side of the fire in the Greer and Eagar area:

Further evacuations have been ordered by the Apache County Sheriff’s Office for all areas south of highway 260 and east of Greer, including South Fork and portions of Eagar. Highway 260 will remain open for the evacuation and will be closed immediately after the evacuation.

As usual, more information is at InciWeb, and at the White Mountain Joint Information Center, (928) 333-3412, 593.org.

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The Wallow fire has now been mapped at 311,481 acres, according to a report from the incident management team on Tuesday. Ten structures have burned and 343 are threatened.

Below is a map that has heat data updated at 12:05 p.m. MT, June 7, 2011.

Map of Wallow fire - data - 1205 6-7-2011

Map of the Wallow fire, showing heat (the red and yellow dots) detected by satellites over the 24-hour period ending at 1:44 p.m. MT, June 7. A mapped fire perimeter is shown, the red line, current as of 1:38 a.m. on 6-7-2011. MODIS/Google

Based on estimates, ESTIMATES, using heat shown on the satellite images, the fire at 12:05 p.m. MT, June 7 appeared to be the following distances, in miles, from these communities: Greer (very close), Eagar 4, Luna, 6, Morenci 35. These are measurements taken from the images and may not be accurate. Do not rely on these estimates for making decisions about evacuation.

Here is some updated from the incident management team on Tuesday:

Current Evacuations: Sunrise, Greer, Blue River, Alpine, Nutrioso, and the following subdivisions along highways 180/191: Escudilla Mountain Estates, Bonita, White Mtn. Acres, and the H-V Ranch. This area includes CR 4000, CR 4001, and CR 4225.

Pre-Evacuation Alert: Pre-evacuation alert issued by Apache County Sheriff’s Office for Eager, Springerville and South Fork, and the Catron County Sheriff’s Office has issued one for for Luna, New Mexico.

Fire Update:

Yesterday we experienced extreme fire behavior due to the forecast high winds and low humidity; similar weather conditions are expected today. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the area. The fire has become established on the east side of Highway 191, just north of the Alpine Divide, and is moving toward the Escudilla Wilderness. Today we expect another active fire day, especially on the north and east flanks of the fire. Firefighters are continuing to work around the clock, day and night shifts. Spot fires are occurring up to 3 miles ahead of the fire. Firefighter activities include: building fire line, perimeter control, structure protection, and patrolling for spot fires.

A call center has been established by the White Mountain Joint Information Center for information, including evacuation information, regarding the Wallow fire. Their phone number is (928) 333-3412, and their web site is 593.orgInciWeb is another source.

Here are some links to live cameras in the general area of the Wallow fire:

Weather data from a RAWS weather station near Alpine, AZ and a RAWS station near Greer, AZ.

Photo galleries at ABC15Flickr, and at MSNBC.

Horseshoe 2 fire

Map of Horseshoe 2 fire data 0234 6-7-2011

Map of the Horseshoe 2 fire, showing heat (the red and yellow dots) detected by satellites over the 12 hour period ending at 2:34 a.m. June 7. A fire perimeter is shown, the red line, mapped at 9:42 a.m. on 6-5-2011. MODIS/Google

The fire has burned 104,285 acres and is 55% contained.

From the incident management team, at 8:00 a.m. MT, June 7, 2011:

A red flag warning has been issued today for high winds and low humidity. Firefighters continue to fortify containment lines on the north and northwest portions of the wildfire in order to protect the community of Whitetail and Chiricahua National Monument. The goal is to safely hold the fire south of Road #181 and East Whitetail Canyon Road. Firefighters are expecting extreme fire behavior this afternoon and evening with gusty winds and humidity as low as 5%. Wind gusts may again prevent the use of helicopters to support firefighters.

Weather data from a RAWS weather station near the Horseshoe 2 fire.

Murphy fire

Murphy fire map - 0234 6-7-2011

Map of the Murphy fire (and the Pajarita fire near the US/Arizona border to the south), showing heat (the red and yellow dots) detected by satellites over the 6-day period ending at 2:34 a.m. June 7. A fire perimeter is shown, the red line, mapped at 8:00 p.m. on 6-3-2011. MODIS/Google

This fire has burned 50,122 acres, 5 miles east of Arivaca, Arizona and is 15% contained.

More information from the incident management team today:

Concerns: The Pajarita Fire started yesterday and traveled agressively in a northeastern direction towards the Murphy Fire. Today at approximately 5pm the head of the Pajarita Fire merged with the Murphy Fire near Walker Canyon at the El Paso Gas Line Road. Two ranches along Ruby Road near Pena Blanca lake were evacuated , but no structures were lost.

Summary: Fire crews continued the burn operation south along the El Paso Gas Line road towards Ruby Road. This burnout operation along with air support was successful in keeping the fire from spreading East into the community of Rio Rico. The Pajarita Fire merged with this burn out operation at approximately Walker Canyon. The Earlier pre-evacuation notice that was sent out by Santa Cruz County Sherriff’s Department has been lifted. The Pajarita Fire continues to slowly back to the southwest towards Sycamore Canyon. Fire crews and air support are actively suppressing this part of the firev .

 

Update: our June 8 article has updated information about the Wallow fire.

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About Bill Gabbert

Wildland fire has been a major part of Bill Gabbert’s life for several decades. After growing up in the south, he migrated to southern California where he lived for 20 years, working as a wildland firefighter. Later he took his affinity for firefighting to Indiana and eventually the Black Hills of South Dakota where he was the Fire Management Officer for a group of seven national parks. Today he is the creator and owner of WildfireToday.com and Sagacity Wildfire Services and serves as an expert witness in wildland fire. If you are interested in wildland fire, welcome… grab a cup of coffee and put your feet up. Google+

15 thoughts on “Update on Arizona fires, June 7, 2011

  1. With the severity of these types of fires, the old types of fire fighting methods may have to be scrapped. It will take DRASTIC action to stop a blaze like the Wallow. Explosives dropped from planes or planted ahead of the front might be the only way to get enough fire line on time to where it is needed. However, no one will ever authorize such a move. Instead, the forests will burn and the foresters will breathe a secret sigh of relief, knowing that at least THAT section of forest is “cleared”.

  2. Great updates Bill Thanks for posting all the info,links and photos. I have been passing around your website for family, friends and co-workers in KS, NM and here in AZ interested in getting the lastest information.

  3. I have been posting this link in my facebook…. It actually is the only correct and accurate resource out there (in my opnion). I care for my elderly mother on oxygen so your site is very useful to me during this time… I pray for everyone involved.

    I have double duty though.. .keeping an eye on Pierre/Ft. Pierre flood where my husband and I are from. Wishing we could just somehow take that overflow off them and bring it to our aide. I know I know Wishful thinking. =)

    • I am glad it’s useful for you, Danielle. I hope your mother deals with the smoke ok, (if you guys are in the smoke)..

      • the 6th was bad… we were in the smoke yes. the 7th not really. but living in Arizona it is everyones worry about the fires we are all affected whether indirectly or directly, we are all affected by them. =) And thank you for the updates. =)

  4. Thank you so much for this updated information! My husband is on a hotshot crew, so I hear very very little from him. I obsessively refresh this and a couple other websites throughout the day, and this is almost always the most current.

    My thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved/affected by this monster of a fire. Best of luck AZ, you have CA’s finest!! :)

    • Thinking of your Husband and all the people fighting these fires. Our prayers are with you all.

      • Thank you so much Danielle! It means more than anyone knows for them to know how appreciated they are. :)

        (It helps me feel better too ;] )

  5. This is an excellent page to follow these fires. They affect all of Arizona, but those of us closer to the heat are appreciative of your efforts so we can keep an eye on what is going on. Your page is much better than the mainstream media. It contains more specifics and details. Prayers for all the evacuated and especially those working so diligently at the risk of losing life to get these fires out.

  6. Hi I would like to volunteer to help out stop the fire or help people move out please email me back if you can use me for any thing thank you.

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