Whitney Team Leaving Payson Monday; Willow 70 Percent Contained


With the majority of the fire line around the Willow Fire contained, Jeff Whitney's Type 1 Incident Management Team began the process of transitioning out on Sunday.


Jeff Whitney's Type 1 Incident Management Team began the process of transitioning out on Sunday

The actual transition to John Philbin's Type 2 Incident Management Team will take place Monday, July 12.

"What will happen tomorrow is the comparable people for each position will be here and they'll actually shadow us around all through tomorrow, and then tomorrow night at 6 p.m. they will take control of the fire," Public Information Officer Carrie Templin said Sunday morning.

Yesterday firefighters completed the burnout of Forest Road 201 south of Payson. With the assistance of the heavy helicopters, the Type 1 Hotshot crews were able to make good progress constructing line, hot spotting, and cold trailing the fire edge towards Mt. Peeley.

"They've got about two miles of line to build, and then they'll be able to say they have a pretty good line all the around the fire," Templin said.

The Willow fire, first reported at 4:10 p.m. on June 24, has reached 119,500 acres and is 70 percent contained. Total cost to fight the fire to date is $9,015,000.

The Mine Fire

A new fire - the Mine Fire - between 5 and 30 acres in size was reported Sunday morning in the Four Peaks Wilderness southwest of Lake Roosevelt.

"The Tonto National Forest did respond, and of course we provided some resources that we had here -- mostly air resources," Templin said. "The last word I got, somewhere around 10 a.m. (Sunday), they were feeling pretty good about that fire."

Watch for a wrap-up interview with Incident Management Team Commander Jeff Whitney in the Tuesday edition of the Roundup.

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