Horseshoe 2 fire becomes 5th largest wildfire in Arizona history

Horseshoe Two fire from Earth orbit

Updated at 8:36 p.m. MT, June 2, 2011

The Incident Management Team issued the following update this evening:

Evacuation Order for

Paradise and East Whitetail Canyon

For immediate release: June 2, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.

The Cochise County Sheriff’s office has issued a mandatory evacuation order for the communities of Paradise and East Whitetail Canyon as of 6:00 pm, June 2, 2011. The evacuation is being issued as a safety precaution. Due to Red Flag wind conditions, The Horseshoe 2 Fire has extended across Rock Creek Canyon and has moved northeast. The fire has spotted across Pinery Canyon Road (Rte. 42) and firefighters are actively working to suppress that fire.

The Chiricahua National Monument is temporarily closed to visitors.

More information is at InciWeb.


Horseshoe Two fire from Earth orbit
Horseshoe 2 fire as seen from the International Space Station. NASA photo.

The Horseshoe 2 fire, which started on May 8, grew by a couple of thousand acres each day during most of the month of May, but after May 26 when it was 47,000 acres it began eating up the acres at a faster rate until today it reached 80,500 acres and became the 5th largest fire in the recorded history of Arizona.

Horseshoe 2 fire, burning out
Three hotshot ignition specialists evenly spaced walk in a line lighting the grasses, providing for a low intensity controlled burn to clear understory. Photo: Todd Abel SWIMT

Here is an excerpt from today’s 9:00 a.m. update by the Incident Management Team:

The primary focus of today’s activities will be to contain the fire that crossed the line in Saulsbury Saddle, which includes constructing hand line by five hot shot crews and dropping retardant from aerial resources. Structure protection is in place in the West Turkey Creek area as crews have taken precautionary measures to minimize the threat of property loss.

Burnout operations will continue on the southwest side of the fire along Tex Canyon Road, completing the remaining six mile containment line for that area.

Smoke will be visible over the northwest and southern portions of the fire as operations continue. Travelers along State Route 80 will continue to see fire activity and are asked to be extra careful while driving in this area.

Map of Horseshoe 2 fire 0945 6-2-1011
Map of Horseshoe 2 fire, showing heat detected by satellites. The perimeter, mapped 6-1-2011, is in red. Heat was mapped sometime prior to 0945 MT 6-2-2011. MODIS/Google

More information about the Horseshoe 2 fire, which is on the Arizona and New Mexico border near Portal, AZ and 2 miles west of Rodeo, NM, is at InciWeb.


Update: read the June 4, 2011 article about the Horseshoe 2 fire.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.