Monday, June 18, 2012

Poco Fire threatens electrical lines providing energy to Phoenix and Tucson

Poco Fire Update

YOUNG, Ariz. – There was minimal growth on the Poco Fire the last 24 hours. The fire is now 3,200 acres and containment remains at 15 percent. The fire continues to burn in extremely rough terrain six miles northeast of Young.  The forecast shows hot, dry, windy conditions today. The public may notice more smoke during afternoon hours. 
The fire is posing a threat to twin 500 kV electrical transmission lines that provide energy to Phoenix and Tucson Metro areas. In order to protect the powerlines, firefighters are constructing and reinforcing fireline east of the fire in anticipation of a planned burnout operation between FR 128 and FR 102 when conditions are appropriate. 
There are 677 personnel on scene consisting of 12 hotshot crews, six twenty-person crews, 23 engines, six dozers, seven water tenders, and four helicopters.  Crews are here from Arizona, California, Idaho, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Montana. 
Residents are invited to attend a community meeting tonight at the Young Community Center at 7:00 p.m.  Fire officials will provide an update on the status of the fire and address public concerns.
Forest Road 512 remains closed as crews “mop-up” the fire along the south edge 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.  

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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