Arizona already had experienced an active wildfire season by April 2021, as was predicted by the National Weather Service’s wildfire forecast for 2021. Here, The latest update on the wildfires in Arizona.
There are now over 20 ongoing wildfires in the state. Some are small, while others are rapidly developing and forcing evacuations.
In just the past 10 days there have been seven active fires that required evacuation protocols.
Here is an update as of June 28 of the most recent fires and their timelines:
- The Rafael Fire (Timeline 23th June -27th June)
- The Backbone Fire (Timeline 16th June- 27th June)
- Whyric Fire (Timeline 19th June -26th June)
- Telegraph Fire (Timeline 4th June- 27th June)
- Pinnacle Fire (Timeline 19th June-26th)
- Bear Fire (Timeline 24th June -27th June)
- West Chev Fire ( 19th June- 27th June)
The Rafael Fire
According to fire officials, The Rafael Fire was caused by dry thunderstorms that moved through the area. The blaze started near Perkinsville. The fire has destroyed 76,322 acres and is just 48% contained.
The fire started on the 23rd June, and firefighters fought a fierce battle with it for 4 days straight.
Officials with the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office have issued a number of evacuation orders as a result of the Rafael Fire.
Sinagua Middle School, located at 3950 E. Butler in Flagstaff, has set up a shelter.
For those who require additional information, an emergency operations center has been established. 928-679-8647 is the phone number.
The Backbone Fire
The Backbone Fire, which was also triggered by lightning, broke out shortly before midnight on June 16 near Ike’s Backbone, some 12 miles west of Strawberry.
The Backbone Fire has burned 40,855 acres and has a 43 percent containment rate. According to Mike Reichling of the Southwest Incident Management Team, multiple communities have been evacuated, highways have been closed, and the blaze became the top priority wildfire in the United States at one point.
The Wyrick Fire
Heber, Arizona is one mile from the Wyrick Fire. The fire is not only forcing evacuations, but it is also posing a threat to electrical lines, according to fire officials. A few highways are also closed.
The Wyrick Fire is at 7,592 acres and 56% containment.
The Telegraph Fire
The Telegraph Fire is the 6th largest wildfire in Arizona history after burning over 180,000 acres near Superior. It started on June 4 and has been raging since. The Telegraph Fire, which was started by humans, has burned 180,755 acres and is 91 percent contained. Within the last two weeks, multiple communities have been evacuated, many structures were lost and highways are still closed. Eventually, the Telegraph Fire merged with the now fully contained Mescal Fire.
Due to the Pinnacle Fire, which erupted on June 10, multiple communities in Graham County have been told to evacuate. Winds, heat, and uneven terrain, according to crews, are making firefighting difficult. The fire, which is currently 60% contained, has 246 personnel assigned to it. A total of 34,417 acres have been burnt.
The Bear Fire
The Bear Fire is another wildfire in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. The fire, which was caused by lightning, started on June 16 and has resulted in road closures. It burned 19,214 acres and is 0 percent contained, according to fire officials.
The West Chive Fire
After igniting on June 19, a wildfire 13 miles from the Forest Lakes subdivision triggered evacuations, according to fire officials. Due to the fire, Woods Canyon Lake, a popular public recreation area, has been closed and evacuated. The West Chev Fire has burned 1,170 acres and is at 62% containment.