Highline Fire June 23, 2017 Morning Update: Final Update - Transfer of Command to the Local Units

Contact(s): Mogollon Rim Ranger District 928-477-2255, Tonto National Forest Fire Info Duty Officer 602-525-1042


Transfer of Command to the Local Units

Highline Fire - June 23, 2017 Morning Update


Acres: 7,198 acres                                                            Start Date: June 10, 2017

Cause: Unknown, under investigation                    Origin: 8 mi N of Payson in 1990 Dude Fire Scar

Containment: 92%                                                          Fuels: Grass, brush, heavy and down fuels, ponderosa pine

Total personnel: 421                                                      and mixed conifer


This will be the final update unless significant changes occur.


The Southwest Area Incident Management Team #1 (Bea Day, Incident Commander) will transfer command of the Highline Fire to the local national forest units starting today. Transfer of the northern portion of the fire above the Mogollon Rim (the area formerly known as the Bear Fire) to the Coconino National Forest occurred today (Friday morning). The southern portion of the fire below the Mogollon Rim will be transferred to the Tonto National Forest on Saturday morning. A Type 4 local organization will assume command for suppression and suppression repair efforts.


Smoke may be visible on the northern portion of the fire, where it continues to smolder and burn in pockets of unburned vegetation within the fire’s perimeter. Crews continue work on the final piece of containment line of the east flank of Bear Canyon. They are mopping up and patrolling for hot spots along the remainder of the fire’s perimeter. The majority of remaining resources will be demobilized today, making crews and equipment available to other fires.


Suppression repair will continue on dozer and handlines, equipment staging areas, and safety zones.  Repairs include construction of water bars to channel water off lines during monsoon rain events.  In areas where brush was cleared crews are now using chippers to remove slash piles along control lines.  The Highline and General Cook Scenic Trails will be repaired where they were used as a control line and impacted by suppression actions.  Mitigation may include flush cutting stumps close to the ground, felling of hazard trees, and use of cut trees to prevent unauthorized off-highway vehicle (OHV) use in the future.


Hot, dry weather persists and will last through the weekend.  Daytime winds will be light to moderate, gusty at times, and will generally be out of the west and southwest for the next few days.


All evacuations and pre-evacuations have been lifted.  Some roads near the fire are only open to residents and businesses due to heavy fire equipment traffic and fire crews working in the area.


Closure Orders and Fire Restrictions remain in effect on the Coconino and Tonto national forests.  The area closure on the Tonto National Forest has been scaled back starting today. All road blocks on the Tonto National Forest have been removed. On the Coconino National Forest, road blocks remain on Forest Roads 95 and 300. The Coconino National Forest moved to Stage 2 Fire Restrictions yesterday (June 22). For details, visit the Tonto National Forest website, https://www.fs.usda.gov/tonto/ and the Coconino National Forest website, https://www.fs.usda.gov/coconino.


Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. 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: Know Before You Fly, http://knowbeforeyoufly.org


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

Arizona Emergency Information: http://azein.gov


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