Poco Fire Grows to 3,700 Acres
YOUNG, Ariz. – The fire was very active Monday with large plumes of smoke visible in the afternoon. Gusty winds challenged firefighting efforts as the fire moved into Saunders Canyon and spotted over Forest Road 128. Helicopters and air tankers were used to assist firefighters working to slow the spread of the fire.
Overnight, firefighters burned out from firelines to secure the northwest corner of the fire. Crews will hold firelines today and plan additional burnouts tonight as conditions allow. The public may see smoke along the Mogollon Rim from Payson to Heber from time to time.
The fire remains a threat to the twin 500 kV electrical transmission lines that provide energy to Phoenix and Tucson Metro areas. In order to protect the power lines, firefighters are constructing and reinforcing fireline east of the fire in anticipation of a planned burnout operation between the FR 128 and FR 102 when conditions are appropriate.
Incident Commander Matt Reidy said, “We are pleased that firefighters continue to work safely as they aggressively suppress the fire.”
The fire is now 3,700 acres and containment remains at 15%. There are 704 personnel on scene consisting of 11 hotshot crews, six twenty-person crews, 24 engines, four dozers, 14 water tenders, and four helicopters. Crews are here from Arizona, California, Idaho, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Montana.
A community meeting was held in Young Monday night and over 100 people attended. Fire officials provided an update and answered questions.
Forest Road 512 remains closed between FR 291 and FR 200 (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.