Contributed Photo: A saguaro cactus is silhouetted by an orange glow from the fire.
SAN CARLOS RESERVATION – Wednesday night, a thunderstorm moved across the southern portion of the Griffin Fire bringing lightning and some rain. An “Initial Attack” contingent of firefighters from the team are on standby to respond to any new fires in the area that may result from the lightning.
Take the time to become familiar with the Ready-Set-Go Evacuation information before you see smoke in your community. More information is available at https://ein.az.gov/ready-set-go
- The communities along the east side of Highway 60 (north of Globe) from the ADOT yard north to Winters Ranch including Johnson Ranch and McMillianville are in a “Go” evacuation Status.
- The San Carlos communities of Upper Gilson and Skill Center have returned to “Ready” status.
- Highway 60 is closed north of Globe from S. Parker Street (MM251) north to MM318 www.az511.gov
- Fire activity and movement will continue to be driven by dry fuels, terrain, slope, and potential of winds from thunderstorms through the area. We are expecting higher temperatures and lower humidity over the fire area for the next several days. The chance of afternoon thunderstorm buildup and outflow winds will remain a concern for public and firefighter safety.
- Highways 188 and 288 are open.
- Road 1300, near Highway Tanks, Road 900, and Indian Route 6, Old San Carlos Highway, are closed on the San Carlos Apache Reservation. Please be careful while driving in the fire area as firefighters are working along roadways and traveling through communities to reach the fires.
Griffin Fire (merged with Champion Fire)
The fire continued to exhibit active fire behavior yesterday. Residual heat and overnight fire spread contributed to an active fire edge that increased in fire activity early in the shift. The northeast flank continues to be very active north of the Seven-mile Mountains in heavy brush and timber. An active edge of the fire from Winters Ranch south down the Highway 60 corridor continued to advance to the west. As winds switched to the west-southwest in the mid-afternoon fire behavior began to moderate and push away from Highway 60. Winds are forecast to be from the southwest today from 5-10 mph with gusts to 15 mph with the possibility of afternoon thunderstorms.
As of Friday morning, the Griffin Fire has burned 61,897 acres and was listed at 28 percent containment. The Griffin Fire was started by lightning about five miles northeast of Globe in the Apache mountains.
On Thursday, firefighters were in place to help protect residences and other values at risk in the Highway 60 corridor and will build direct line and burn out if necessary, along the east side of Highway 60 to keep the fire from crossing the highway. Crews were able to secure the south flank of the fire and will hold and improve those firelines. On the east side of the fire, firefighters will build direct line where possible and continue to prepare contingency lines from the Cassadore Springs Fire scar south to the Quail Fire scar. On the northwest corner, west of Highway 60 firefighters continue to protect the Griffin, Winters, McMillianville, Adobe, Haystack, and Tucker Ranches and keep the fire south of FR 303 (Seven-mile Wash Road). Please continue to be on the lookout for fire equipment and personnel as they drive through San Carlos and the Seven-mile communities to access the fires.
The communities along the east side of Highway 60 from the ADOT yard north to Winters Ranch, including Johnson Ranch and McMillianville are in a “Go” evacuation Status.
The following communities on San Carlos Reservation have moved from “Set” to “Ready” status: Upper Gilson and Skill Center.
For emergency alert and Red Cross evacuation information, visit http://www.readygila.com/.
Minimal fire activity was observed on the fire yesterday. Crews will hold and improve fireline along FR 203 on the north edge of the fire and hold the fire along a two-track road on the east flank as well. Firefighters are working to mitigate threats to 5 residences, 10 outbuildings, and 500kV powerlines. Structure prep work is being conducted in the Rockhouse Community, Dagger Ranch, and Coon Creek Ranch. As of Friday morning, the Meddler Fire has burned 4,452 acres and was listed at 20 percent containment.
Firefighters continue to patrol and monitor the fire perimeter. Occasional smoke, flames and ash whirls from within the burned area may be visible from the highway and nearby communities. As of Friday morning, the Salt Fire has burned 21,774 acres and was listed at 71 percent containment.
Roosevelt Lake Recreation
Roosevelt Lake and adjacent recreation sites remain open to the public, with the exception of Bermuda Flat, Cholla Bay, and Bachelor’s Cove which are closed due to concerns for potential flooding after the Bush Fire earlier this summer.
Griffin and Salt fires Smoke Report
Today and tomorrow, smoke during the afternoon is expected to move toward the east/southeast with light to moderate impacts likely through the day in San Carlos and Peridot. There will be a continued chance for afternoon thunderstorms along with gusty outflow winds. As outflows move through the region, fire activity may increase, resulting in more smoke production. Outflow winds may also push brief pockets of moderate to heavy smoke into Globe-Miami and Roosevelt. Expect hazy conditions with periods of light to moderate smoke impacts for all communities surrounding the fires.
Overnight smoke will move into the drainages and low lying areas adjacent to the fire. Smoke from the Medicine Fire is expected to combine with smoke from the Griffin Fire, causing heavier smoke impacts throughout the night into the early morning hours in San Carlos, Peridot, and possibly Globe-Miami. The heaviest of impacts are expected between 2 a.m. and 9 a.m., with the smoke lifting out by 10 a.m. https://azdeq.gov/WildfireForecast
Closures and Restrictions: The Tonto National Forest has issued a Public Safety Closure Order for the area impacted by these fires, for more information visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/tonto/alerts-notices or https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/7019/
Values: Firefighter and public safety are the highest priorities on these fires. The fire area includes multiple communities, power lines, mines, range improvements, historical, cultural, ceremonial sites, and natural resources, which firefighters are working hard to assess and protect.