Highline Fire June 16, 2017 Evening Update: Firefighters Increased Containment and Accomplish Key Operations 

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

View original news release on InciWeb.


  • Acres: 4,929 acres
  • Start Date: June 10, 2017
  • Cause: Unknown, under investigation 
  • Origin: 8 mi N of Payson in 1990 Dude Fire Scar
  • Containment: 44%
  • Fuels: Grass, brush, heavy and down, Ponderosa pine and mixed conifer
  • Total personnel: 1,240 


Today crews made substantial progress on both the west and east flanks. Line construction was completed across Ellison Creek followed by a strategic firing operation to remove unburned fuels between the line and the main fire.  This successful operation marks a significant achievement in checking the fire’s south and eastward movement and protecting the communities of La Cienega and Ellison Creek Estates.  Structure protection crews remain in place in the two evacuated communities.  On the fire’s west flank crews also achieved success in connecting line between the Rim and the Highline Trail.  Crews completed burnout of fuels within the established lines to check the fire’s westward spread.  Additional containment has been achieved on both the 300 road above the Rim and along the Highline Trail above Bonita Creek.  The fire burned out interior islands of unburned fuels above the Rim in what was formerly the Bear Fire.  Several spot fires were suppressed by crews patrolling the area.


Tonight firefighters will focus on holding the successful work of the day shift.  Priorities will be to hold lines where today’s successful firing operations where completed in Dry Dude Creek and Ellison Creek.  Structure protection groups will remain in place in the communities south of the fire.  Crews above the Rim will continue to patrol for spot fires and mop up heat near the containment lines.


Tonight’s winds are expected to be lighter than last night and relative humidity will be slightly higher.  While conditions may improve overnight firefighters will need to remain vigilant for downslope winds and potential spot fires. 


A Highline Fire Community Meeting will be held tomorrow, June 17, at 7pm at Payson High School, 301 S. McLane Road, Payson, AZ. 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.


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.  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.


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.


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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