GLOBE — Several lightning-caused fires spread across the landscape in close proximity to communities around Globe-Miami, San Carlos and along Highway 60 north of Globe in the last two weeks.
Despite the dash and splash of recent monsoon rains, the lighting comes first. It is often the catalyst for wildfires in Arizona and the Southwest.
The status of multiple fires still burning, and some near containment, are as follows:
The Griffin Fire, a product of the merging of the Gin and Griffin Fire, was reported at over 33,000 acres on Monday. On Wednesday, Aug. 26, the fire had almost doubled in size, burning 60,075 acres with a slight backslide to 28% containment.
The fire caused multiple closures of U.S. Highway 60 which remains closed from mileposts 251 to 318 as of Thursday morning. This is the portion of U.S. 60 from Globe to the State Route 73 junction, near the Fort Apache Reservation. Indian Route 6 and Road 1300 and 900 on the San Carlos Indian Reservation are also closed. (Real-time highway conditions are available on az511.gov, or by calling 511 and through ADOT’s Twitter feed at @ArizonaDOT.)
Several communities were still on ‘GO’ Mode for evacuation including all residents on the East side of U.S. Highway 60, North from the ADOT yard to Winters Ranch as well as all residents off Fairgrounds Road, Winters Ranch, and Johnson Ranch. Communities on ‘SET’ Mode include Upper Gilson and Skill Center. For update information on Ready-Set-Go Evacuation for the area, visit www.readygila.com/.
Heavy smoke settled into the San Carlos, Globe and Roosevelt Lake areas last weekend and throughout the week from the Griffin, Salt and Meddler fires. Daily smoke forecasts are at azdeq.gov/WildfireForecast.
The lightning-caused Salt Fire was reported at 20,838 acres and 71% containment as of Aug. 26. It is 11 miles north of Globe near the junction of Highway 188 and SR 288. Grass and brush are the fuels.
The Meddler Fire ignited Aug. 24 and burned 3,400 acres as of Aug. 26 with 0% containment on the Tonto Basin Ranger District.
The fire was burning in the Cherry Creek area off Forest Service Road 203, seven miles northeast of Roosevelt. Firefighters worked to mitigate threats to 10 outbuildings, 5 residences, and 500kV power lines.
The lightning-caused Cassadore Springs Fire started on Aug. 1, burning in grass, brush, and timber on the San Carlos Apache Reservation. The nearby Kean Fire, also detected on August 1, burned into and combined with the Cassadore Springs Fire on August 3. It burned 21,284 acres and was at 90% containment on Aug. 26.
The Blue River 2 Fire, located 15 miles northeast of San Carlos, AZ, began on July 10 from a lightning strike on tribal lands of the San Carlos Apache Nation. It burned 28,051 acres as of Aug. 26 and was at 67% containment. The Blue River 2 Fire and the adjacent Valley Fire were reported to have “decreased in complexity” at the end of July.
The Teapot Fire is 50% contained with no change in growth; 349 acres. The fire is still situated in a bowl between Teapot and Sleeping Beauty Mountains. There has been very minimal fire activity and there are no structures at risk.
The Bringham Fire, located 22 miles north of Morenci, was contained on July 31. Caused by lightning on July 6, it burned 23,142 acres in the Clifton Ranger District of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. It became 100% contained on July 31.
The Willow Fire, ignited by lightning on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest’s Black Mesa Ranger District on July 28. It burned 281 acres and is a 100% containment.
The Medicine Fire was ignited by lightning on the Fort Apache Reservation, 15 miles west of Salt River Canyon. It was reported at 10% containment, having burned 8,526 acres as of Aug. 26. The fire has minimal access routes making direct attack of the fire with crews and engines difficult.
The fire burned the historic Medicine Ranch House. A dozer worked on a contingency line in the west flank of the fire stated the Aug. 26 press release. Fort Apache Hotshots are working on handlines in the southwestern edge of the fire.
For more information, contact Candy Lupe at (928) 205-5662, or visit BIA Fort Apache Agency Facebook page: facebook.com/BIAFAAFireMgt.
The Clifton Ranger District on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests reported two new wildland fires caused by lightning.
The Jump Fire, approximately three miles north of the XXX Ranch has burned about 200 acres. The Alder Fire is approximately 950 acres. Both are burning in steep, rugged terrain and have minimal values at risk.
Campfires are allowed in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/main/asnf/fire.
The Tonto National Forest implemented Stage 1 Fire Restrictions July 31. This means fires are allowed only in developed sites. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/tonto/alerts-notices/?aid=60539.
To report a wildland fire, call 1-866-746-6516, (24 hours a day and toll free).