Thursday, June 21, 2012

Poco Fire now at 11,000 acres, 15 percent contained

Poco Fire Update
YOUNG, Ariz. – Fire activity decreased yesterday on the Poco fire. As a result of the work done overnight by firefighters, the fire is now 11,011 acres and 15 percent contained. Crews continue to hold and improve existing fire lines on the north, east and south sides of the fire.
Today, crews will be watching for spot fires, holding the existing fire lines and mopping-up. On the southwest side of the fire on Forest Road 857, firefighters will be extending and reinforcing fire lines by continuing burn-out operations.
During burn-out operations Wednesday, a firefighter sustained a burn to his neck and is being treated for his injuries.
The twin 500 kV power lines owned by Arizona Public Service and Salt River Project that were impacted by the fire, have been re-energized.
Smoke is wide-spread along the Mogollon Rim and will be visible to residents.  
Two community meetings were held yesterday in Heber-Overgaard and Christopher Creek. Both meetings were well attended and local residents were updated on the current fire status.
The Northern Arizona Incident Commander Matt Reidy asked the firefighters to “stay focused on the task at hand and safely accomplish the mission.” 
There are 731 firefighters assigned to the incident including 11 hotshot crews, six twenty-person crews, 22 engines, four dozers, 18 water tenders, and several helicopters.   
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.
Poco Fire information is posted at  For more information regarding forest recreation sites and fire restrictions, please contact the Tonto National Forest at 602 225-5200, or check online at
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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.

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