In the past 24 hours, Arizona saw nine new wildfire starts. Two of the southwest region’s largest fires are burning here, having consumed 755,385 acres, and making the state a top priority for fire suppression.
To keep new fire starts from spreading, Arizona’s State Forestry mobilized its Arizona All Hazard Incident Management Team to strategically place crews around the state for Initial Attacks. “With thousands of firefighters working on those big fires in Arizona, the state has limited firefighting resources. We’re planning ahead and mobilizing task force crews that have joined us from around the west and deploying them here in southern Arizona to tackle any new fires before they get out of hand,” said Roy Hall, the incident commander.
As of Monday morning, six of seven Arizona Task Force crews were staffed as deployed to these locations:
Arizona 1 and 2 are at the Monument Fire in Sierra Vista.
Arizona 3 is assigned Monday to the Wickenburg area.
Arizona 4 was called today to Payson to fill in behind Forest Service crews committed to the Willow Fire that began there on Sunday.
Arizona 5 is staged to Perryville.
Arizona 6 is stationed at the Phoenix/Mesa Gateway airport.
Arizona 7 is currently unstaffed and additional crews are ordered.
Each task force contains five engines, with up to five firefighters, Initial Attack hand crews consisting of 20 personnel, and one water tender that holds an average of 3500 gallons.
(The Arizona State Forestry Division established a Phoenix command post at 2901 W. Pinnacle Peak Road that incorporates fire dispatch resources of 250 rural Arizona fire departments, state resources from Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, along with federal agencies, including the Bureaus of Land Management and Indian Affairs, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Forest Service. The mission of Initial Attack is to strategically stage crews and dispatch them to attack new fire starts (Initial Attack) before they become big fires and to return to “ready status” for the next fire start – e.g. get in and get out.)