Highline Fire June 16, 2017 Morning Update: Dozerline in Ellison Creek Holds Overnight – Crews Work to Improve Lines Today

Contact(s): Highline Fire Information (928) 985-0097

View original news release on InciWeb.


  • Acres: 4,929 acres based on infrared data 
  • Start Date: June 10, 2017
  • Cause: Unknown, under investigation 
  • Origin: 8 mi N of Payson in 1990 Dude Fire Scar
  • Containment: 35%
  • Fuels: Grass, brush, heavy and down, Ponderosa pine
  • Total personnel: 1,069  and mixed conifer


The communities of La Cienega and Ellison Creek Estates, in the Ellison Creek drainage north of the Control Road, remain evacuated as crews work to improve lines above the community.  For the safety of the residence of these two subdivisions, the Gila County Sheriff, in consultation with the Incident Management Team, were evacuated before nightfall to avoid a potential evacuation in the pre-dawn hours.  While the fire moved closer to La Cienega overnight it remains north of control lines.  The Bonita Creek subdivision remains in precautionary pre-evacuation status and residents should be prepared as conditions can change rapidly.


Sign Up for Gila County’s Emergency Alerts at http://www.readygila.com.  This is the best way for the county to reach you with updates. Once residents leave, they will not be allowed in until the area is deemed safe.  Law enforcement officers will be patrolling the closed area to provide security 24/7. 


A Red Cross Shelter is located at the Payson High School, 301 S. McLane Rd, Payson, AZ 85541.  Large animals may be taken to the Payson Multi-event Center, 1400 S Beeline Highway, Payson, AZ.


Last night the fire moved downslope in Ellison Canyon but remained north of control lines.  Dozerline constructed across Ellison Creek to protect La Cienega and Ellison Creek Estates was not directly challenged last night.  Structure protection crews remain in place in the two evacuated communities.  On the fire’s west flank crews made progress in securing line in Dry Dude Creek where they plan to cut-off the fire’s westward movement.


Today firefighters are prepared to hold the fire north of the Highline Trail and the Ellison Creek dozerline.  Structure protection crews will remain pre-positioned in the La Cienega and Ellison Creek Estates to defend structures.  Crews will work to maintain the progress made last night in keeping the fire above the Highline Trail in both Dry Dude Creek.  Above the Rim crews will patrol for potential spot fires and continue to improve line along the 300 Road.  Crews will monitor and patrol what was the Bear Fire burned area and is now part of the Highline Fire.


Today winds will be upslope pushing north and east away from structures.   Overnight downslope winds are expected to be replaced by upslope winds as temperatures warm.  Extremely dry and hot conditions continue to challenge firefighters on the ground and could limit the use of air resources this afternoon.  Upslope winds should aid firefighters as they work to keep the fire from progressing south towards communities.  The fire is expected to continue flanking east along the Rim.


A Highline Fire Community Meeting will be held today, June 16, at 7pm at the LDS church in Christopher Creek (546 W Ashby Apple Dr, Payson, AZ 85541). American Sign Language (ASL) services will be provided. We plan to try to livestream on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HighlineFireInfo/ . You do not need a Facebook account to view the recording available on Facebook following the meeting; however you can only view the meeting live if you’re logged in.


Coconino and Tonto National Forests Closure Orders and Fire Restrictions remain in effect.


Firefighters are working to protect values at risk where they can safely do so.  Values include watersheds, private property and adjoining communities, pipelines, range improvements, powerlines, air quality, federally protected species, and nationally and regionally trail systems.


Fire Information: (928) 985-0097 and (928) 362-2916 (8:00 am to 8:00 pm)

Media Line: 928-793-1955

InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5233/

Arizona Emergency Information: http://azein.gov

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/HighlineFireInfo/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/highlinefire


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