(Posted June 1, 2011, at 9:48 p.m.) The Horseshoe Two Fire crossed the line early this morning towards the west side of Saulsbury Saddle.
Firefighter and aerial resources responded with immediate suppression tactics until thick smoke curtailed operations. Operations resumed when visibility increased. Low humidity, dry fuels and moderate winds continue to be of concern.
The fire area closure is still in effect.
Evacuations of Paradise, the SW Research Center, and surrounding area have been lifted.
For fire fighter and public safety during suppression and containment of the Horseshoe Two wildfire, closures include the east and west forest boundary south of:
* Pinery Canyon Road (Forest Road 42)
* East Turkey Creek Road (Forest Road 42B)
* Portal Paradise Road (Forest Road 42B)
* North of Rucker Canyon/Tex Canyon Roads (Forest Road 74).
Forest Road 42B within the community of Paradise is not on National Forest land and Nolan Road in and out of Paradise remains open.
The primary focus of today’s activities was to contain the fire that crossed the line in Saulsbury Saddle, which included constructing hand line and dropping retardent from aerial resources. Concurrent with these activities, burnout operations continued in the West Turkey Creek and Saulsbury Canyon areas to secure other portions of the northwest side.
Structure protection is in place in the West Turkey Creek area as crews have taken precautionary measures to minimize the threat of property loss. Burnout operations continued on the southwest side of the fire along Rucker and Tex Canyon Roads to the area of Cottonwood Canyon.
Smoke was visible over the northwest and southern portions of the fire as burnout operations continued. Travelers along State Route 80 will continue to see fire activity and are asked to be extra careful while driving in this area.
In cooler areas, firefighting efforts will be shifting from fire suppression to resource rehabilitation on the roads and trails that were impacted in the construction of fireline and burnout operations. This includes chipping and scattering brush and slash, covering newly created firelines with brush, constructing water bars to prevent erosion, and removing flagging and fire suppression related equipment and material.
BAER assessment teams are in place and are evaluating burned areas as they cool. BAER teams typically review post-fire conditions and recommend and implement treatments to begin to restore watersheds where possible. These efforts are intended to speed up nature’s natural recovery processes to stabilize soils before rains arrive with the summer monsoon.
Horseshoe Two Fire summary:
Date Started: 05/08/2011
Number of Personnel: 835 personnel, including 9 hotshot crews and 9 hand crews.
Location: 5 miles south of Portal, Arizona
Cause: Human – under investigation
Equipment: 36 Engines, 24 Water Tenders
Size: 80,500 acres
Aircraft: 8 helicopters
Percent Contained: 75%
Injuries to Date: 7 (all minor)
Estimated Containment Date: 06/22/2011
For information on post-fire actions you can take, contact Mike Evans at Cochise County Emergency Management, 205 N. Judd Drive, Bisbee, AZ (520)432-9220, or Janet Richardson at Hidalgo County Emergency Management in Lordsburg, NM (575)542-9993.
(Source: Southwest Area Type-1 Incident Management Team)