Pinal Fire Daily Update - May 14, 2017, 9:00 a.m.

Release Date: May 15, 2017  

Arizona Central West Zone Type 3 IMT

Andrew Mandell, Incident Commander

Information phone: 928-487-0676


Detected: May 8, 2017

Cause: Lightning

Current Size: 75 acres

Containment: 0%

Location: Tonto National Forest, Globe Ranger District, 6 miles south of Globe Arizona, in the Pinal Mountains near Pioneer Pass, burning in a northerly direction.

Resources on Fire: The Central West Zone Type 3 Incident Management Team is overseeing operations. There are 4 crews, 8 engines, 1 Type 3 helicopter, and a total of 200 firefighters assigned to the incident.

Summary: Wildfire last burned in this area in 1952. The natural fire regime of the landscape is in need of the reintroduction of low-severity fire into the ecosystem to provide for fire adapted communities and protected infrastructure resulting in enhanced overall forest health for the future. One of the objectives of this incident is to restore ponderosa pine and mixed conifer fuel types to a more drought tolerant and natural condition while protecting the community watershed from erosion. Private land, infrastructure, and recreation facilities will be protected from fire.  Public and firefighter safety will remain paramount in all decisions and they are based on the values at risk.

A Temporary Flight Restriction was placed over the fire yesterday and will remain for the duration of the incident with a radius of 8 air miles from its center at Signal Peak. Do not fly aircraft, including unmanned craft such as drones, within this flight restriction.

Operational Activities: The structure protection group continues to work on the ridge of the mountain around private land, homes, and communication infrastructure. Crews are working on road improvements, reducing fuels 66 feet in from the road to remove ladder fuels, and scouting for possible helispot near Pinal Peak.

Fuels: The major fuel types are long needle pine litter, conifer litter, grass, grass/shrub, and shrub. The primary carrier of the fire at this time is long needle pine litter. Typical spread rates and flame lengths will be low to moderate in these fuels.

Fire Behavior: Based on predicted weather forecast and yesterday’s increased activity, fire will continue to spread upslope following ponderosa pine and conifer stringers. Expect low to moderate surface spread rates today through the timber understory, along with isolated single tree torching. Southwest terrain driven winds and steep slopes will dictate the direction of spread.

Values at Risk: Private land and residences are in the vicinity of the wildfire area. There are electronic and communication sites are on Signal, Sulphide Del Ray, and Pinal Peak; and Forest Service facilities and other values are present such as Mexican Spotted owl habitat and cultural and historic sites. Crews are protecting these resources using chain saws and chippers.

Restrictions & Closures: A closure order for the area has been established. See closure information.

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