No sooner had Forest Service crews on Wednesday subdued the 43-acre Dripping Springs Fire near Pine than they got a call of another brush fire starting about five miles away.
Fortunately, the residual crews from the 225 firefighters that had contained the Dripping Springs Fire called in the remaining helicopter and smothered the new fire off Hardscrabble Road before it had time to burn more than a tenth of an acre.
Meanwhile, crews continued work on widening the line around the main fire up in Pine Canyon, as crews from Prescott, Globe, Flagstaff and Phoenix began returning to their home bases.
The Dripping Springs Fire started alongside the Pine Creek Trail, reportedly as a result of an uncontrolled campfire.
It spread up and across the canyon just beyond the thinned buffer zone protecting Pine. The Forest Service called in firefighting crews throughout the day on Monday, peaking at 225 firefighters, two helicopters and two bombers.
Crews had a tentative line around the fire by Tuesday, but braced for predicted high winds on Tuesday afternoon. Fortunately, the fire remained contained despite the winds – although it had reached the top of the Rim and burned about five acres on top before the air drops of fire retardant stopped its spread.