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Wildfire Updates: Rafael, Backbone, Wyrick, Glen Canyon Moves To Stage II Restrictions



The Rafael Fire is close to 60% contained as crews continue work to stop its northward progression. The Southwest Incident Management Team reports more than 78,000 acres have burned to date. Rainfall in today’s forecast may aid firefighters with containment. However, dry lightning strikes are a possibility. Crews continue to patrol and mop up the fire’s perimeter and will chip woody debris created during line preparation. Sycamore Canyon has been downgraded from GO to SET status. Light to moderate smoke impacts are possible in Prescott, Camp Verde, Cottonwood, and Sedona today. A community meeting is scheduled Wednesday evening at 6 p.m.


The Backbone Fire burning near Strawberry is close to 65% containment with the chance of rain this week expected to aid firefighting efforts. Crews will continue to work the fire’s edge looking for hot spots. They’re also chipping debris along the corridor of State Route 260 as part of suppression repair work in the fire area. The communities of Strawberry, Pine and Hunt Ranch have been downgraded to SET status.


An Incident Management Team handling the Wyrick Fire near Heber will hand fire operations back to the Black Mesa Ranger District on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest this evening. The blaze is nearly 100% contained after burning close to 7,600 acres. Fire managers say crews made good progress Tuesday on uncontained portions of the fire. Today, they are patrolling and monitoring the fire line looking for hot spots. The nearby West Chev Fire is now 85% contained. Crews continue to look for hot spots and area monitoring Circle Bar Draw, the only area where fire is yet uncontained. Moist air and rain is expected to aid firefighting efforts this week, though dry lightning strikes remain a possibility. 


Glen Canyon National Recreation Area will move to Stage 2 Fire Restrictions tomorrow, in effect until further notice. Under the restrictions, all open fires, as well as wood-burning and charcoal fire use, setting, building and maintaining is prohibited. Smoking is allowed only in enclosed vehicles. Fireworks of any kind are prohibited at all times on federal public lands.