Flags continue to be flown at half-mast to honor the 19 firefighters of the Granite Mountain Hotshot team who lost their lives in the line of duty on June 30th while fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire. Meanwhile, nearly 600 firefighters continue to battle the 8,400 acre lightning-caused fire that burns only 1.5 miles west of Yarnell in central Arizona. The thoughts and prayers of many are with the community of Yarnell and the families and friends of those whose lives were lost, as well as the team’s only survivor.
The Silver Fire has reached an estimated 137,326 acres, and is now 59% contained. 590 firefighters continue to battle the blaze as it slowly continues northward. A slight rainfall yesterday did little to help diminish the heavy fuels, though overall low to moderate fire intensity was observed. The weather today is expected to continue to aid the firefighting effort as temperatures remain in the low 80’s and humidity stays in the 30’s. Another storm is possible later this afternoon.
Direct line was constructed yesterday in Cooney Canyon in the northwest area of the fire. Direct and indirect lines were also constructed in Hefner Canyon. Crews continued to monitor the west, east, and south ends of the perimeter. Helicopters dropped water on spot fires as they formed on the west side of the Silver Fire.
Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Treatments have been recommended for the area to the south. Recommendations include seeding of 11,500 acres to “provide for quick establishment of vegetative ground cover to maintain soil productivity, water quality, and reduce threats of flooding to downstream communities”, mulch of nearly 3,000 acres of severe burn to “minimize negative effects of water quality from runoff”, the placement of closure gates to warn the public away from potentially hazardous areas, road and trail maintenance, stabilization of sites, and removal of debris. More information about the Silver Fire BAER Post Fire Response can be found at www.inciweb.org/incident/3433, or by calling the Public Information Officer at 534-0011
Photo from Courant Photography