Updated at 3:15 p.m. June 3, 2011
As you can see from the map of the Horseshoe 2 fire above, the fire has grown significantly over the last two days and is now close to the community of Paradise. It is burning in the southeast corner of Arizona near the New Mexico state line. More information is at InciWeb. The incident management team produced this fire progression map from data collected Thursday night.
The weather forecast for Paradise, AZ, (elevation 5,599′) calls for 22 mph winds gusting up to 31, high temperature of 87, and a low relative humidity of 6% Friday afternoon…not good news for firefighters. Current near-real-time weather observations can be found at the site for the Monte Vista RAWS weather station located on the west side of the fire at an elevation of 9,250′. At 2:06 p.m. on Friday it recorded a temperature of 70 degrees, 12% humidity, and a 17 mph wind gusting up to 30.
Jim Thomas’ Incident Management Team has been ordered for June 4 to replace Dugger Hughes’ IMTeam which will conclude their 14-day assignment. More about these IMTeams.
The Incident Management Team distributed the information below at 9:00 Friday morning:
“Evacuation ordered for Paradise and East Whitetail Canyon
The Cochise County Sheriff’s office has issued a mandatory evacuation order for the communities of Paradise, East Whitetail Canyon and the surrounding communities effective 6:00 pm, June 2, 2011.
- Date Started: 05/08/2011
- Number of Personnel: 825 personnel including 9 hotshot crews, 9 hand crews
- Location: 5 miles south of Portal, Arizona
- Cause: Human – under investigation
- Equipment: 36 Engines, 24 Water Tenders
- Size: 86,140 acres
- Estimated Containment Date: 06/22/2011
A Red Flag Warning is in effect today from 12:00 to 8:00 p.m. due to high winds. Despite the concentrated effort of over one hundred hotshot firefighters, yesterday the fire crossed Rock Creek Canyon and, aided by strong winds and high flame lengths, the fire spotted over a mile and a half east towards Paradise. The Barfoot Lookout Tower and communication equipment in the area were destroyed by the fire, and crews were forced to disengage and shift to an indirect firefighting strategy.
According to Incident Commander Dugger Hughes, a dead oak tree burning within the main fire area threw an ember over containment lines, which landed into a live oak tree with a dead branch. Over the course of the night, the ember came to life and by the time firefighting resources were able to detect it early the next morning the fire had reached unsafe conditions. The oak tree was not lit as part of a burnout operation.
“This goes to show that you can work hard and do everything right, and all it takes is one little ember in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Hughes.”