Minimal fire activity observed today on the Pinery Fire

May 13, 2018 - 7:50 pm

The Pinery Fire is located approximately 29 miles SE of Willcox, AZ. The fire started on private land, and has moved to the north and east onto Chiricahua National Monument and the Coronado National Forest.  The fire is estimated to be 1,200 acres.

Ground and aerial resources are taking suppression actions where they can do so safely and effectively. There have been no structures lost and no injuries.

The fire is currently hung up on cliffs and rocky outcroppings on ridgetops, and has not progressed further north into Chiricahua National Monument. Firefighters have begun constructing direct line and extinguishing hotspots along the north and northeast portion of the fire perimeter. The south, west and east perimeters have been quiet today. Firefighters are patrolling these area for hotspots.

Firefighters continued structural prep in the Chiricahua National Monument headquarters area and scouted ahead to plan for point source protection for the lookout tower, as a precautionary measure. Crews have also been scouting ahead for options to provide structure protection in the east White Tail Canyon area, as a contingency if there is a need.

Based on limited fire activity today, the Type 3 organization will maintain command of the fire. They will be augmented by resources from the Type 1 Southwest Area Incident Management Team #2 (John Pierson, IC) that arrived this evening.

Fire details:

Date/Time Reported: reported Saturday, May 12th, around 1:30pm

Cause: human caused, under investigation

Resources: Approximately 300 personnel including (9) engines, (4) Type 2 handcrews, (4) hotshot crews (Smokey Bear, Mesa, Bitterroot and Geronimo), (3) watertenders, (2) Type 1 helicopters, (2) Type 2 helicopters, (2) Type 3 helicopters, and miscellaneous support personnel.

Fire Behavior: Despite high winds today, the fire hung up in rocky outcroppings and minimal fire behavior was observed. 

Fuels: The fire is burning in the footprint of the 2011 Horseshoe 2 Fire, in an area with heavy grass, brush and dead and down vegetation. There is mixed conifer in higher elevations.

Weather: A Red Flag Warning is expected to continue tomorrow.

Objectives: Firefighters are working to hold the fire north of FR 42, south of the 181 Road in Chiricahua National Monument, and west of the North Fork of Pinery on the FR356.

Challenges: There fire is burning into Wilderness, into remote, steep, rugged terrain. There are limited water sources in the area. Warmer, drier weather and high winds are expected to continue.

Structures Threatened: The fire is currently approximately one mile south of park infrastructure including headquarters buildings, employee housing, a campground and the historic Faraway Ranch in Chiricahua National Monument. The Sugerloaf Lookout tower is also located in Chiricahua National Monument. The fire is currently located approximately 7 miles west of the community of Paradise, AZ and approximately 5 miles southwest of private inholdings in Whitetail Canyon. There is also one house at the Coronado National Forest Pinery Administrative site.

Evacuations: The Cochise County Sheriff's Office has issued "Set" notices (pre-evacuation) for the east White Tail Canyon area. Follow https://www.facebook.com/CochiseSO/ for current evacuation information. Register for Cochise County Emergency Alerts at https://www.cochise.az.gov/emergency.

Closures: Chiricahua National Monument is closed. The Coronado National Forest will also be implementing forest closures in the fire area for public safety.

Restrictions: Stage II Fire Restrictions are in effect across Southern Arizona.

Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in effect. Every time a drone is spotted near the fire all aircraft are grounded until we can be sure the drone is clear of this area. More info visit Know Before You Flyhttp://knowbeforeyoufly.org.

Fire Information: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5795/ (including maps and photos)

 

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