Acres: 40,591 acres
Percent Containment: 1%
Start Date: June 16, 2021
Origin Location: Approximately 12 miles west of Pine and Strawberry, Arizona
Fuels: Pinyon Juniper, Chaparral, Brush, Grass, Cactus
Personnel Assigned: 740
Rain Calms Backbone Fire
Yesterday the Backbone Fire received small amounts of rain, ranging from 0.1 to .25 inches. This has calmed the fire, but the forecast calls for increasing temperatures and lower humidity into the weekend that will remove any effects of the rain. For this reason, the team anticipates that residents of Strawberry and Pine will stay evacuated for at least another week. On the east side of the fire crews will be attempting to construct a direct fire line on Deadman Mesa to stop forward progression of the fire toward Strawberry and Pine. Crews will continue to strengthen the community defenses by constructing fire lines and completing structural protection work around the town and residences. Residents of Camp Verde and nearby communities will continue to see the fire slowly move northwest towards their towns. Firefighters will be working at strengthening control lines and assessing community defense needs. Aircraft will be used to keep the fire east of the Verde River and to slow its forward advance wherever they can be effective. Crews are working along State Route 260 to prepare for continued burning operations.
Public Land Closures: Because of the extreme fire danger, many of the National Forests in Arizona have been, or soon will be closed to protect public health and safety. Please check the website for your specific National Forest for closure notifications.
Road Closures: State Route 260 is closed between Camp Verde and State Route 87. State Route 87 is closed north of Payson to Clints Well. Motorists are advised to visit https://www.az511.com for current road closures before traveling.
Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) is working closely with the agencies responding to wildfires across the state. While there has been some impact to APS infrastructure due to the Backbone Fire, there are no customers without power at this time because of fire activity and disruption in service is not currently anticipated. APS is monitoring fire progress and will coordinate with emergency response agencies in the event there is a need to take power lines out of service to protect firefighters and/or if the fire or smoke impacts electrical infrastructure. APS customers can visit aps.com/outagecenter for information on how to be prepared for an outage and to view the APS outage map.
Weather: Temperatures will remain well above normal and are exceeding 100 degrees with single-digit humidity. Southwest winds will increase during the day with gusts of 13 to 18 mph possible.
Evacuations: Evacuation orders continue to be in place for the communities of Pine and Strawberry. The communities of Beasley Flats and Verde Lakes are in a Ready status. Residents and visitors should contact their county or visit https://ein.az.gov/ready-set-go for information regarding evacuation status.
No Drone Zone: A temporary flight restriction remains in place over the Backbone Fire.
Fire Danger Remains Extreme: Please use caution when recreating or working outdoors. Check for fire restrictions or information on fire activity around Arizona at: https://wildlandfire.az.gov/.
Backbone Fire Information
• Phone: (928) 362-4088
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BackboneFireInfo/
• Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7545/
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/backbone_fire