Overnight fire activity along the western flank of the fire was visible from Camp Verde. Firefighters continued to monitor the fire progression around the both the western and eastern flanks of the fire and continued to prepare containment features to support today’s operations. Today firefighters and heavy equipment will reinforce control features to the south and west of Strawberry and Pine; and prep for future burnout operations as necessary to strengthen holding features and protect the communities and values at risk. Aviation resources will focus on keeping fire from moving into Deadman Mesa and Hardscrabble Canyon.
Another day of extreme fire behavior is expected with growth to the north and east.
APS is working closely with the agencies responding to the Backbone Fire. While we don’t currently anticipate a disruption in service, we are monitoring the fire’s progress in the event there is a need to take power lines out of service to protect firefighters and/or the fire or smoke impacts to electrical infrastructure. Customers can visit aps.com/outagecenter for information on how to be prepared for an outage and to view the APS outage map.
Weather: Extreme temperatures will continue today with single digit humidity. Scattered dry thunderstorms may develop to the north and west this afternoon and linger into the evening. Southwest winds will increase with gusts of 20 – 25 mph this afternoon.
Evacuations: Evacuation orders were issued for the communities of Pine and Strawberry. Residents and visitors should contact their county or visit https://ein.az.gov/ready-set-go for information regarding evacuation status.
Closures: State Route 260 is closed between Camp Verde and State Route 87 and State Route 87 is closed north of Payson to Clint’s Week. Motorists are advised to visit at: https://www.az511.com for current road closures before traveling.
The Fossil Creek recreation area is closed due to wildfire danger, which includes Waterfall Trail, Irving/Flume, Tonto Bench, Fossil Creek Bridge, Homestead, Sally May, Purple Mountain, Bob Bear Trail, and Mazatzal. Closures and other changes to recreation site status are available on the Coconino NF webpage at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/coconino/recreation
An emergency area fire closure has been issued to protect public health and safety from fire activities. All Tonto, Coconino, and Prescott National Forest lands, roads, and trails in the area of the Backbone Fire are closed. Full details of area and road closures are available on the Backbone Fire Inciweb page at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7545/
No Drone Zone: A temporary flight restriction remains in place over the Backbone Fire.
Fire Danger Remains Extreme. All State Trust Land, Prescott, Tonto, and Coconino National Forests are under Stage II Fire Restrictions. 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: 24,198 acres
Percent Containment: 0%
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: 251