(Originally published at 5:47 p.m. MDT July 20, 2019)
Saturday afternoon a wildfire broke out near New River, Arizona north of Phoenix. Late Saturday afternoon Arizona State Forestry said it had burned 250 acres. (see the map above)
The blaze is 48 miles northwest of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway airport, which is a fairly quick turnaround for the air tankers working out the airport’s retardant reload base. Other air tankers are coming from Prescott. At 5 p.m. MDT FlightAware showed the following air tankers working on the fire; Tankers 01, 16, 15, 164, and 911 (a very large air tanker, a DC-10), plus an assortment of air attack and lead planes.
The 7,000-acre Cellar Fire 15 miles south of Prescott, Arizona was active Thursday afternoon primarily on the northeast side as 7 air tankers, 7 helicopters, and 13 hand crews worked to limit the spread (see the map above). A total of 367 personnel are assigned to the fire.
The overall strategy of the Type 1 Incident Management Team led by Alan Sinclair is full 100 percent suppression. Structure protection is in place on the 52 Road (the Senator Highway). The highway may be used as a holding feature if the fire continues to move east.
The Incident Management Team reported that a DC-10 Very Large Air Tanker was effective in slowing the fire’s spread on the east side. Additional air tankers continued to support hotshot crews working on the northwest flank of the fire.
The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office issued a Code Red ‘GO’ mandatory evacuation for the residents in Pine Flat affecting 41 residences and 21 outbuildings. A total of 690 structures are threatened. A shelter has been established at the Prescott High School.
The weather at Crown King, 6 miles southeast of the fire, is predicted to be about the same Friday and Saturday as it was on Thursday — temperature in the high 80s and relative humidity in the teens. The wind will be a little stronger, generally out of the west or southwest at 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 20. This translates to no relief for the firefighters, however there are some fire scars out ahead of the Cellar Fire that could decrease the intensity and resistance to control.
A wildfire 10 miles southwest of Mayer, Arizona (see the map below) has burned about 7,000 acres in the Prescott National Forest. According to the National Situation Report the agency is not intending to fully suppress the fire, but instead is managing it to enhance the natural resources. They will take action as needed to herd it around or protect values at risk.
Believed to have been started by lightning, it was reported on July 14 burning in grass and brush but is spreading northeast into ponderosa pine west of the Senator Highway (FR 52).
A Type 1 Incident Management Team is expected to assume command of the fire Thursday, July 18 at 6:00 am.
As a precaution the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office issued a Code Red for the community of Pine Flat. The ‘SET’ alert was issued last night by the Sheriff’s Department. There are NO evacuations currently in effect. For information on the Code Red issued call (928) 771-3321.
The US Forest Service and the Air Tanker Base at Prescott Regional Airport expects heavy aircraft activity out of airport over the next couple of days as they continue to assist with the fire.
The spread of the Woodbury Fire east of the Phoenix suburbs has slowed considerably, allowing fire managers to begin “right-sizing” the fire, according to information released by the Incident Management Team (IMT). Some firefighting resources are being demobilized.
The Southwest Area Type 1 IMT 2 is starting an initial transition of duties to the Arizona Central West Zone Type 3 IMT. The Type 3 team will assume command of the fire at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow, June 28th.
Below is a map of the Woodbury Fire.
The work remaining on the fire includes patrolling, securing, and monitoring firelines. Fish Creek, Pinyon Mountain and Two Bar Ridge have interior pockets of vegetation burning within the fire perimeter. These areas pose no threats to the fireline, however southwest winds will push smoke towards the Roosevelt area on Thursday.
An Unmanned Aerial System, or drone, was used Tuesday to fly over the eastern border of the fire to scout for hotspots. The aircraft detected heat within the fire perimeter and helicopters then dropped water and firefighters constructed line on the ground. The IMT used the drone again on Wednesday.
The fire has burned over 96,000 acres east of Phoenix
(Above, map of the Woodbury Fire, Saturday night)
(Originally published at 11:11 a.m. MDT June 23, 2019)
The Woodbury Fire was less active Saturday than it had been in previous days, which allowed the construction of direct fireline by hotshot crews, but it still produces large amounts of smoke. The southeast side of the fire where retardant was dropped along Sawtooth Ridge continues to hold. Crews are performing structure protection around the community of Top of the World, Pinto Valley Mine, Carlota Mine, and other infrastructure.
(To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Woodbury Fire, including the most recent, click HERE.)
The fire has burned 96,307 acres east of Phoenix and south of Theodore Roosevelt Lake.
Firing operations have been underway along the Highway 188 corridor from Roosevelt to Spring Creek to limit fire spread should it progress further northeast. That line is holding well.
Additional firing occurred at Tonto National Monument ahead of the advancing wildfire as a precautionary measure. The Monument is two air miles southeast of Roosevelt. There has been no apparent damage to the cliff dwellings and other structures.
Resources assigned to the fire include 16 hand crews, 49 fire engines, and 8 helicopters, for a total of 905 personnel. This is a slight reduction in personnel over the last 24 hours, probably due to the eastern one-third of the fire having been relatively quiet for several days.
State Highway 88 is closed from milepost 213 at Tortilla Flat to State Highway 188 at Theodore Roosevelt Dam. Also, State Highway 188 is closed from its junction with State Highway 88, east to the junction of State Highway 288 (the Young Road). Highway 288 remains open.
AFMA wildland medics, Aaron and Mac, working the #Woodburyfire as Linemedics. These medics are assigned with fire crews working the “line” for quick treatment and transport from any medical incidents that may arise. Stay Safe everyone.#azfiremedicalpic.twitter.com/PUJoFlHSVQ