Air attack on the Highline Fire

Air tankers laid down flame retardant on a ridgeline on the face of the Mogollon Rim top try to stop the spread of the Highline Fire to the east.

The Forest Service on Thursday issued the following update on the Highline Fire:

Acres:

Cause: Unknown, under investigation Containment: 5%

Total personnel: 912

Start Date: June 10, 2017

Origin: 8 mi N of Payson in 1990 Dude Fire Scar

Fuels: Grass, brush, heavy dead and down, Ponderosa pine and mixed conifer

4,258 acres* based on infrared data

*Because the Highline Fire merged with the Bear Fire on Monday, they are now being managed as a single incident. Acres and percent containment are now reported as combined totals. According to infrared flight mapping last night the Highline Fire grew by 308 acres to 1,661 acres and the Bear Fire grew by 75 acres yesterday to 2,591 acres, for a total of 4,258 acres. Combined containment is now five percent. Containment achieved to date was on the Bear Fire.

Last night the fire continued to burn east across upper Ellison Canyon where crews held it below the Rim with a strategic firing operation. As the fire progresses east into Ellison Canyon crews are working to stay in front of the main fire, burning out fuels below the 300 Road along the Rim. The fire backed slowly towards the Highline Trail on the south flank where crews successfully kept it north and above the trail.

Today the fire in Upper Ellison Creek is expected to push north and east toward Myrtle Point on the Rim. As the fire flanks east toward Lost Lake and Myrtle Point, crews will work to hold it below the Rim using the 300 Road. Dozer line is being constructed from the High Line Trail across the Ellison Creek Drainage above the La Cienega subdivision. On the west flank the fire has been checked by retardant drops at the boundary of the 2009 Rim Fire burn scar and is backing downhill into Dry Dude Creek. Crews are scouting options to construct line between the 300 Road and Highline Trail to secure the western flank. A structure protection group will continue to prepare communities below the Highline Trail and complete the structure protection plan.

Hotter, drier weather has arrived and presents new challenges to firefighters. Rapid fire growth can be expected over the next several days with temperatures reaching the upper 90s and relative humidity dropping to as low as 3 percent. Several firefighters have been impacted by heat related injuries.

A Highline Fire Community Meeting will be held tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Payson High School Auditorium, 301 S. McLane Street, Payson, AZ. American Sign Language (ASL) services will be provided and the meeting will be livestreamed on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HighlineFireInfo/ .

No evacuation orders are in effect at this time. Precautionary Pre-Evacuation Notifications have been issued for the La Cienega, Ellison Creek Estates. and Bonita Creek. Residents should be prepared as conditions can change rapidly.

Coconino and Tonto National Forests Closure Orders and Fire Restrictions are now in effect.

Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. Every time a drone is spotted near the fire all aircraft are grounded

until we can be sure the drone is clear of this area. More info visit Know Before You Fly, http://knowbeforeyoufly.org

Firefighters are working to protect values at risk where they can safely do so. Values include watersheds, private property and adjoining communities, pipelines, range improvements, powerlines, air quality, federally protected species, and nationally and regionally trail systems.

Fire Information: (928) 985-0097 and (928) 362-2916 (8:00 am to 8:00 pm) Media Line: 928-793-1955

InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5233/ (Air Quality info, County Emergency Alert sign-up link, Firewise tips) Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HighlineFireInfo/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/highlinefire

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