A shift in weather conditions brings the challenge of hot, dry, and gusty winds back to the fire-lines on the Blue River and Dry Lakes fires. Through today firefighters will continue to watch the interior heat and enhance containment lines, watching to make sure winds do not push fire across the established containment lines. The firefighters have been able to make progress in containing both fires, as there is now a fifty-percent containment on the Blue River Fire and a fifteen-percent containment on the Dry Lake Fire. Yesterday firefighters continued to used helicopters of varying size and Single Engine Airtankers (SEATs). Firefighters are using a combination of established roads, natural features like rock bluffs and outcroppings, as well as dozer or handline to contain the fire and stop the fire spread for the fires.
The Dry Lake Fire continues to burn, backing and creeping through the grass and timber understory and dead and down fuels on the forest floor making occasional pushes with winds when aligned with the terrain. Areas around Dry Lake have either had fires previously or had been thinned by the local tribal forestry program which has decreased the fire behavior potential in that general area.
More firefighters and camp crew members from the San Carlos communities have joined the firefight on these two fires. As San Carlos Agency and Tribal Forestry have been able to ensure the training and safety of their firefighters, and acquire the necessary vehicles to accomplish social distancing, personal protective equipment, and disinfectant supplies they have been able to bring more of their firefighters into service. Firefighter and public safety is the first priority and even more important now during the COVID-19 pandemic.
SMOKE: The team is working closely with Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to monitor smoke impacts to the communities of San Carlos as well as Whiteriver. Smoke monitors will be positioned at strategic locations in San Carlos and in Whiteriver to monitor the impacts of smoke within the communities. Smoke monitoring during the COVID-19 pandemic is critical to insuring the continued health of communities. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found at the Centers for Disease Control – Wildfire Smoke: https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/features/wildfires/index.html
BACKGROUND: Firefighters have been working to actively suppress the Blue River and the Dry Lake fires since their discovery after a June 5 thunderstorm. Firefighters and fire managers have been challenged by many factors which have been significant in the growth of these fires. Factors including several days of wind driven fire behavior, difficult topography, as well as limited available resources due to the COVID-19 pandemic, compounded by increased fire activity in the area further drawing down available resources have proven challenging.
FIRE PREVENTION: We must all do our part to prevent wildfires. We continue to see fires that are preventable threaten our community. Ko’ doo bena golde’da - Do not play with fire! Do your part to clear the grass and brush around your home to help protect your community. Remember it only takes one spark to start a wildfire.
Blue River Fire
Acres: approx. 30,400
Percent Containment: 50%
Origin Location: 8 mi NE of San Carlos, AZ
Fuels: Upper desert grasslands; grass and brush
Dry Lake Fire
Acres: approx. 4,365
Percent Containment: 15%
Origin Location: 22 mi NE of Bylas, AZ
Fuels: Ponderosa pine forest with woodland and grass understory
Fire Information: 602-345-0246
Email: [email protected]
Hours: 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Fire Information on InciWeb -- http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/
Air Quality Monitors -- http://tinyurl.com/y9cqd22w
Arizona DEQ Air Quality Monitors -- http://www.phoenixvis.net/PPMmain.aspx
Smoke Forecast Outlooks -- http://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/