There will be a community meeting tomorrow, Saturday, June 26, 2021, 5:30 pm, at the Expedition Church, 301 S. Colcord Rd, Payson Arizona. The meeting is open to the public and live streamed on the Incident Facebook Page
Yesterday’s rainfall allowed for today’s change in suppression tactics and has provided fire fighters opportunities to go direct on the fire edge along most of the fire perimeter. By going direct, firefighters are able to check the progression of the fire towards the communities of Strawberry and Pine on the east side and Camp Verde on the west. Fire managers and crews are working diligently to increase containment along the east fire perimeter which will help lower the evacuation level.
On the west side, fire activity was minimal today and remains approximately five miles from Camp Verde. Firefighters continue improving primary and secondary lines constructed to protect Verde Lakes and Beasley Flats. On the east side, crews are extinguishing and mopping up any remaining heat around the burnout operation that was initiated three days ago. Firefighters have constructed and improved lines to the West of Strawberry and Pine, including on Deadman Mesa, to stop forward progression of the fire towards those communities. Fire crews continue to assess structures and enhance defensible space, as the fire remains approximately two miles from Strawberry.
Presently, the Coconino, Kaibab, Prescott and Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests and are in full closure. Today, the Tonto National Forest went into a Stage III closure.
State Route 260 is closed between Camp Verde and State Route 87. State Route 87 is closed north of Payson to Clints 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 damage to APS infrastructure due to wildfire activity, at this time there are no customers without power because of the fires 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. Given the unpredictability of fires and weather, APS encourages customers to visit aps.com/outagecenter for tips on how to prepare for an outage, to sign up for outage alerts and to view the APS outage map.
Although brief heavy rainfall occurred in the Verde Valley yesterday, much of it passed over the fire area, running north along the I-17 corridor. Isolated thunderstorms, with a warming and drying pattern, are expected throughout the weekend.
Evacuation orders were issued June 18 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: 40,841 acres
Percent Containment: 13%
Start Date: June 16, 2021
Personnel Assigned: 707