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Wallow Fire – Creeping To The Finish

Wallow FireThe firefighters are definitely winning the battle. Faced with Red Flag conditions they have managed to hold their lines and limit the spread of the fire.

Update: The fire has jumped the containment line in New Mexico and is headed for Luna. Air support can’t fly because of the high winds, so it is going to be a ground battle to save the town.

Information from the current Wallow Fire InciWeb Page

  • Date Started: 5/29/2011
  • Location: Apache, Navajo, Graham, and Greenlee Counties, San Carlos and White Mountain Apache Reservations, Arizona; Catron County, New Mexico
  • Cause: Human – under investigation
  • Size: 500,409 acres [782 miles² 2025 km²] based on infrared data
  • Percent Contained: 38%
  • Injuries to Date: 11
  • Residences: 2,714 threatened; 32 destroyed; 5 damaged
  • Commercial Property: 473 threatened; 4 destroyed
  • Outbuildings: 1,216 threatened; 36 destroyed; 1 damaged
  • Other: 1 truck destroyed
  • Number of Personnel: Approximately 4,152 including 19 hotshot crews and 64 hand crews
  • Equipment: 21 dozers, 245 engines, 63 watertenders
  • Aircraft: 15 helicopters, 5 air tankers
  • Incident Commander: Jim Loach, Area Command Team 3

The Red Flag Warning issued by the National Weather Service remains in effect from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. MST for Saturday and Sunday for strong winds and low relative humidity. Critical fire weather conditions can be expected from late morning through early evening today, Saturday and Sunday. Southwest winds are forecast from 15 – 25 mph with gusts of 35 – 45 for today and Saturday. Winds are expected to increase on Sunday to 15 – 25 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. The hot, dry and windy weather coupled with the drought stressed vegetation, and heavy fuel loading in mixed conifer forests have the potential to create extreme fire behavior. Critical fire weather is expected through Sunday.

On the south end the fire continues to back down towards the indirect line which has been constructed along the southern flank. Critical fire weather produced resistance to control of the fire along this flank. Occasional single and group tree torching occurred and when slope, terrain and wind aligned, the fire made uphill runs with torching and spotting. Both fireline and dozer line repair are on-going.

In Nutrioso and Greer, area patrol and hazard tree removal work continues. Firefighters, the Greer FD and Navopache Electric Company are working to develop re-entry plans for evacuees. Significant progress has been made on securing communities despite Red Flag conditions and high winds. The transition from Reinarz’s IMT1 to Walker’s IMT2 will take place at 6 A.M. Saturday.

On the southeast flank, significant winds pushed fire into the bottom of the Blue River drainage. The temperatures in the canyon’s bottom were 90° with relative humidity of 9% and wind speeds up to 40 mph. Continued active fire behavior occurred in other areas today due to gusty southwest winds and dry fuels. There was active surface fire with occasional torching and short slope driven runs. Tomorrow, hoselays will be plumbed from Strayhorse down to Blue River and lines will continue to be prepared for burnout when conditions allow. Hotshot crews were inserted into Raspberry Creek to complete line construction on RD 191 to Blue River and they will be spike camped there.

[For the latest information click on the Fire symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Fires” for all of the posts related to wildfires on this site.]

2 comments

1 cookiejill { 06.18.11 at 6:30 pm }

Since the Arizona governor hates “socialist” government, she will no doubt NOT ASK FOR TAXPAYER EMERGENCY MONEY to aid the State….right?

Oh, and all those socialist unionized firefighters that have been working their assess off, risking their lives, to save others’…guess their efforts have been awful and damaging to the country.

Corporate media should be asking some serious questions of these GOP a**holes. But, alas…they are spineless airheads.

2 Bryan { 06.18.11 at 7:33 pm }

The reason she delayed making an emergency declaration so long, was she was working through a Federal grant.

You will be happy to know that CalFire made some money – $57K/day with a 5 day minimum deployment for the DC-10. Not a major amount after expenses, but everyone got time doing something useful and it helps to pay for the system. The town of Greer, Arizona is still on the map, in part due to the DC-10, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for a thank you card from Brewer, if I were Jerry Brown.