By, Southwest Area Incident Management Team
The Type 1 Southwest Area Incident Management Team (Team 2) anticipates strong winds Thursday and the hottest temperatures of the year. By 3:00 p.m., flame lengths will be higher and rates of spread will increase. Smoke columns will be seen, especially in the afternoon. The fire is about 11 miles northeast of Gold Canyon.
Five hundred (500) fire personnel are now on scene along with engines, increased air support, supplies, and heavy equipment. The goal is to box-in the fire, pushing it north away from communities. Crews are specifically assigned to build lines and use natural features to protect “values at risk,” that include and are not limited to:
- Communities of Queen Valley Estates, Estrada, Gold Canyon, Superior, Apache Junction
- JF Ranch and disbursed homes, ranches and range improvements
- APS & SRP power lines
- Arizona Trail and Sonoran Desert ecosystem, including the saguaro and Hedge Hog Cactus; riparian waterways
- Historic sites
- With an excessive heat warning, firefighter and public safety remain the top priority.
Community Meeting: 500 people attended a community meeting Wednesday evening in Gold Canyon to hear firsthand transparent information about the fire and team operations. Official fire information, including updates, photos and maps can be found on the Inciweb website at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6382/.
Information will also be shared through the Tonto National Forest Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/TontoNationalForest/ and Twitter: @TontoForest.
The new Fire Information phone number is 505-399-2439.
Donations: The Arizona communities have shown great generosity and interest in the fire, however, donations of baked goods, food, and other commodities are not allowed due to health guidance procedures. The Incident team encourages residents to visit with their local volunteer firefighters, city firefighters, the United Way or Red Cross.