Light rain was received on the Backbone Fire today. The next few days will see a warming and drying pattern accompanied by increasing wind speeds. On the east side of the fire, crews began work on a direct fire line on Deadman Mesa and Hardscrabble Canyon to stop forward progression of the fire toward Strawberry and Pine. Crews worked on strengthening the community defenses by constructing fire lines and completing structural protection work around the town and residences. Residents of Camp Verde and nearby communities will continue to see the fire slowly move northwest towards their towns. Firefighters worked at strengthening control lines and assessing community defense needs around Beasley Flats and Verde Lakes. The fire continues to remain on the east side of the Verde River. Crews are working along State Route 260 to prepare for continued burn out operations to consume the excess fuels to prevent the fire from spreading.
Public Land Closures:
Because of the extreme fire danger, many of the National Forests in Arizona have been, or soon will be closedto protect public health and safety. Please check the website for your specific National Forest for closure notifications.
State Route 260 is closed between Camp Verde and State Route 87. State Route 87 is closed north of Payson to Clint’s Well. Motorists are advised to visit https://www.az511.com for current road closures before traveling. Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) is working closely with the agencies responding to wildfires across the state. While there has been some impact to APS infrastructure due to the Backbone Fire, there are no customers without power at this time because of fire activity and disruption in service is not currently anticipated. APS is monitoring fire progress and will coordinate with emergency response agencies in the event there is a need to take power lines out of service to protect firefighters and/or if the fire or smoke impacts electrical infrastructure. APS customers can visit aps.com/outagecenter for information on how to be prepared for an outage and to view the APS outage map.
Temperatures will remain well above normal and are exceeding 100 degrees with single-digit humidity. Southwest winds will increase during the day with gusts of 13 to 18 mph possible.
Evacuation orders continue to be in place for the communities of Pine and Strawberry. The communities of Beasley Flats and Verde Lakes are in a Ready status. Residents and visitors should contact their county or visit https://ein.az.gov/ready-set-go for information regarding evacuation status.
No Drone Zone:
A temporary flight restriction remains in place over the Backbone Fire.
Fire Danger Remains Extreme:
Please use caution when recreating or working outdoors. Check for fire restrictions or information on fire activity around Arizona at: https://wildlandfire.az.gov/.
Acres: 40,591 acres
Percent Containment: 6%
Start Date: June 16, 2021
Origin Location: Approximately 12 miles west of Pine and Strawberry, Arizona
Fuels: Pinyon Juniper, Chaparral, Brush, Grass, Cactus
Personnel Assigned: 692