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Afternoon Wildfire Update, 06/25/21: Rafael, Backbone, Snake, Wyrick



Fire crews will continue burn out operations today for the Rafael Fire burning southwest of Flagstaff. Work will be done along road systems to the north, east and west of Sycamore Canyon. Crews will also concentrate on prepping firelines by reducing fuels around White Horse Lake on the Kaibab National Forest, as well as along Forest Roads on the Coconino. Structure protection specialists will identify risks in the Sedona area and firefighters working near Mooney Canyon will monitor the fire retardant line from yesterday’s burn out operation. The Rafael Fire has so far burned approximately 40,000 acres and is currently 0% contained. Evacuations remain in place for Garland Prairie South, areas around Sycamore Canyon and south of Forest Service Road 535 off the 231, Bill Grey Road and the area of North Forest Service Road 525. On SET status are areas around Camp Navajo, Garland Prairie North, Pine Aire Estates and residents in between, Grey Ranch, Windmill Ranch and Bear Mountain. The communities of Kachina Village, Pine Dell, Forest Highlands, Mountain Del, University Heights and Equestrian Estates were all downgraded Thursday from SET to READY status.


Evacuations remain in place for Strawberry and Pine as the Backbone Fire continues to burn. The Southwest Area Incident Management Team today said the blaze has burned more than 40,000 acres so far, and is now 6% contained. Firefighters are working to strengthen control lines and assess community defense needs in the Beasley Flats and Verde Lakes areas. The Backbone Fire remains on the east side of the Verde River. Surrounding National Forests area closed to the public this week because of extreme fire danger. State Route 260 between Camp Verde and SR 87 remains closed, as does State Route 87 north of Payson to Clint’s Well.


The Snake Fire burning near Clint’s Well is now 60% contained. Officials with the Coconino National Forest say crews are working today to secure both dozer and hand lines, all of which are holding. There has been no growth on the fire over the past 48 hours. Smoke will likely be visible today in the areas of Happy Jack Lodge, Clear Creek Pines, and along Forest Highway 3