Polles Fire

An aerial shot of the Polles Fire taken July 4.

Winds from a storm started a spot fire outside the containment lines of the Polles Fire Saturday, pulling crews back to the area just hours before the incident was to be turned back over to the Forest Service.

The Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team 2 stayed on after the fire jumped the line and Hotshot crews were flown back to the fire some 12 miles east of Payson.

The Forest Service says two thunderstorms on Saturday produced gusty, erratic winds that rekindled an isolated heat source well within the perimeter. The fire grew to the north and west with the first storm. Then, winds from the second storm pushed flames back to the east. The entire spot was approximately 75 acres. Crews stopped forward movement on the fire and it did not move off the top of the mesa.

Hotshot crews improved the fire line Sunday on the northwest edge of the fire and were expected to continue work there Monday.

As of Monday morning, infrared flights put the fire at 624 acres. It is 80% contained with approximately 208 personnel working on the fire.

Officials remind residents that the fire poses no threat to the communities of Pine-Strawberry or Payson.

Contact the editor at abechman@payson.com

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