Photo By Jacob Pace/Fort Grant Crew Captain Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management: This photo shows when the fire was at just 5 percent containment.
By Jon Johnson
GRAHAM COUNTY – The Treadway fire roughly 18 miles north of Safford was listed at 50 percent containment and 8,400 acres burned as of Wednesday evening.
The lightning-caused fire began on Black Mountain as two separate fires on Saturday, July 29, and merged together the following day.
Due to the rugged terrain, the fires were initially monitored and then an aerial recon was ordered for Sunday morning. The fire is burning through state trust lands, Bureau of Land Management lands, and tribal lands on the San Carlos Apache Reservation.
However, the wind and terrain caused extreme fire behavior and even though six single-engine air tankers, two large air tankers, and one helicopter worked to suppress the flames, the fire punched through the retardant laid down by the aerial vehicles.
Erratic winds continued to lay havoc with firefighting efforts as the fire pushed over containment lines to the north and east sides near Slaughter Mountain.
Most of the fuel is grass and brush, and firefighting crews continue to work on controlling hot spots along the containment lines.