Poco Fire Estimated 8,100 Acres
Incident: Poco Fire Wildfire
YOUNG, Ariz. - The Poco Fire was very active yesterday and is estimated at 8,100 acres after spreading rapidly to the east. The fire is 15% contained. The majority of fire growth was on the east and northwest sides and included spot fires north of Forest Road (FR) 128.
The fire spread under a portion of the twin 500 kV electrical transmission lines that provide energy to Phoenix and Tucson Metro areas. The lines are currently inactive and will be evaluated for future re-energizing.
Crews remained on the firelines last night and conducted burnout operations between FR 102 and FR 512. Today, crews will contend with an excessive heat warning issued by the National Weather Service. Steep terrain and aggressive fire behavior including spotting and rapid rates of spread will continue to hamper containment efforts.
"In spite of very challenging conditions, firefighters continue to use good judgment to make wise decisions about implementing fireline strategies," said Incident Commander Matt Reidy.
There are 641 firefighters assigned to the incident including 11 hotshot crews, six twenty-person crews, 24 engines, five dozers, 14 water tenders, and four helicopters. Crews represent 12 states from California to Louisiana.
The public is invited to attend a community meeting tonight in Heber-Overgaard at the Mogollon High School gymnasium at 6:00 p.m. Fire officials will provide an update on the status of the fire and address concerns.
FR 512 remains closed between FR 291 and FR 200, the Chamberlin Trail. In addition, a portion of the ranger district is closed east of FR 200, south of FR 291 and north of FR 512.
For more information regarding forest recreation sites and fire restrictions, please contact the Tonto National Forest at 602 225-5200, or check online at www.fs.usda.gov/tonto.
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The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is coordinating with the Incident Management Team to monitor smoke impacts in outlying areas. Visibility is an excellent measure of air quality. If visibility is ten miles or more, the air quality is good. Visibility of six to nine miles indicates moderate air quality. Three to five miles of visibility indicates conditions unhealthy for people who have respiratory ailments. One and a half to two and a half miles, the air quality is unhealthy. One to one and a quarter miles indicates the air quality is very unhealthy. If visibility due to smoke is less than a mile, the air quality is hazardous. Smoke-sensitive persons in affected areas may need to take action such as remaining indoors, using air conditioning, or temporarily moving to an unaffected area.