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Wallow Mega Fire – June 14 Update

Posted by feww on June 14, 2011

Wallow Fire: Now Officially Arizona’s Largest Wildfire

Wallow Fire Progression Map – June 14, 2011

Click image to enlarge. Click here for the Largest Size 

Notes about this Map:
1. Map was prepared on June 13, 2011 at 22:38 MST (UTC -7 hours)
2. It’s incomplete.
3. It doesn’t show the extent of fire in areas marked ‘Private.’

Fire Update – June 14, 2011 8:00 AM MST

  • Location: Apache, Navajo, Graham, and Greenlee Counties, San Carlos and Fort Apache Reservations, Arizona; Carton County, New Mexico
  • Injuries to Date: 7
  • Total Personnel: 4,734
  • Includes 24 hotshot crews; 77 hand crews
  • Date Started: 05/29/2011
  • Cause: Human – under investigation
  • Residences: 2,714 threatened; 32 destroyed; 5 damaged
  • Commercial Property: 473 threatened; 4 destroyed
  • Resources: 20 Helicopters, 5 Air Tankers available; 333 Engines; 73 Water Tenders; 20 Dozers
  • Outbuildings: 1,216 threatened; 36 destroyed; 1 damaged
  • Vehicles: 1 destroyed
  • Percent Contained: 18%
  • Size: 469,407 acres total
  • Source: InciWeb

[FIRE-EARTH size estimate for Wallow Fire: ~ 535,000 acres burned as of posting.]

Current Situation and Outlook

  • Current Weather: Wind Conditions 10-15 GUSTS OF 25 mph SW
  • Temperature: 75-87 degrees
  • Humidity: 6%
  • Growth Potential: High
  • Terrain Difficulty: High
  • Fire Behavior: Increased winds resulted in increased fire activity including interior crown runs with moderate-range spotting where winds and topography were aligned.
  • Significant Events: Active fire north of Alpine. Spotting picked up near Turner Peak and Big Lake Campground.

Wallow Fire, now also officially the largest wildfire in Arizona history, was burning across the border into New Mexico when MODIS on the Aqua satellite acquired this image on June 13 at 1:45 pm MST. Source: NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge.

Fire Update [Source: Inciweb]

Firefighters have achieved 18% containment of the 469,407-acre Wallow Fire. While the Wallow Fire is now the largest wildfire in Arizona’s history, significant progress has been made towards containment. A previously destroyed structure at Pool Corral, in the Greer area, was confirmed yesterday. Mop up of backing fire continues in the Alpine and Tal Wi Wi communities. Burnout operations continue from FR 220 south to US 180. Structure protection activities continue in Nutrioso and Alpine. Mop up and widening of containment lines continues in the Greer and South Fork areas. Electricity has been restored to Greer and South Fork.

There was poor humidity recovery overnight and humidity will remain low today. Firefighters continued with structure protection, line improvement and mop-up on the eastern flank. Roads, dozer lines and natural barriers are being improved for use as containment lines. Crews worked to strengthen these lines along FR 281. The fire remains active in unburned areas of the fire. Good progress has been made on the fire’s southeast flank, where crews are working to slow the spread of fire and continue to build and improve containment lines and mop-up. There was minimal movement last night. On the west flank, the fire is backing to the south and further southern spread is expected.

Pre-Evacuation Alert

A pre-evacuation alert continues in Apache County for Greens Peak, Hidden Meadows Lodge and surrounding areas.

  • A pre-evacuation alert by the Catron County Sheriff’s Office continues for Luna, New Mexico.
  • Residents in the communities affected by this fire are asked to remain prepared for evacuate.

Road Closures according to Arizona Department of Transportation:

  • SR 260 will open at noon today from the Hawley Lake turnoff to the South Fork junction (mileposts 369-390).
  • US 191 is closed between Alpine and north of Clifton (milepost 176-253).
  • SRs 261 (mileposts 395-413) and 273 (mileposts 378-394), the main access roads to Big Lake and Crescent Lake in the White Mountains, are closed.
  • SR 373 that connects the town of Greer with SR 260 west of Eagar is closed (mileposts 386-391).
  • US 180 is closed between SR 260 junction near Eagar and New Mexico state line (mileposts 403-433).
  • In southern Arizona, SR 366 is closed at milepost 118 leading up to Mount Graham (milepost 143) near Safford after the U.S. Forest Service determined the risk of wildfire is too extreme to allow access.
  • Partial area closures are in effect for the eastside of the Fort Apache Reservation.

Current Hazard Mapping System Fire and Smoke Analysis – June 14

NESDIS Map of Analyzed Fires from Satellite Data

Click images to enlarge.

Ozone High Pollution Advisory issued for Wednesday, June 15
(Posted June 14, 2011 at 1:05 p.m.) The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has issued an Ozone High Pollution Advisory for areas within and bordering Maricopa County for the remainder of today.

ADEQ issues an Ozone Health Watch when the highest concentration of ozone levels may exceed the federal health standard.

People with respiratory or other health problems that make them more sensitive to air pollution are advised to limit their outdoor activity.

Horseshoe Two Fire

(Posted June 14, 2011 at 10:05 p.m.) The Horseshoe Two Fire is burning on the Coronado National Forest near Portal, Ariz. It is 171,333 acres and is 60 percent contained.

Horse Shoe 2 Fire Progression Map

Click image to enlarge.

Horseshoe Two Fire, Arizona – Satellite Image

Horseshoe Two Fire is burning about 15okm to the south of Wallow Fire. This image was taken by MODIS on the Aqua satellite on June 13, 2011. Source: NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge

Official Fire Summary:

  • Date started: May 8, 2011
  • Estimated Containment: June 22, 2011
  • Cause: Human
  • Number of Personnel: 1,400
  • Crews: 9 Type 1 and 30 Type 2
  • Engines: 76
  • Dozers: 3
  • Water Tenders: 41
  • Helicopters: 4 Type 1, 1 Type 2 and 3 Type 3
  • Total structures destroyed: 23
  • Cost to Date: $40,630,698
  • Size: 171,333  acres
  • Percent Contained: 60%
  • Source: Rocky Basin 2 Incident Management Team

Special Notices
The Coronado National Forest and Chiricahua National Monument are closed due to extreme fire danger.


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