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Backbone Fire

Unit Information

Coconino National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
1824 S. Thompson St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

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June 26 Morning Update: Residents of Pine Return Home

Backbone Fire Wildfire
News – 6/26/2021

This morning the Gila County Sheriff’s Department removed the “GO!” order for residents of Pine and they can return home but remain on “Set” status and should be prepared to evacuate if the fire situation changes. Strawberry and Hunt Ranch remain under a mandatory evacuation. Crews on the fire were able to get to the fire’s edge and construct direct line in a number of locations.  Aircraft continue to support ground crews as needed.  On the east side of the fire, crews continued work on a direct fire line on Deadman Mesa and Hardscrabble Canyon.  They are also scouting for opportunities to construct direct line in Fossil Creek. Firefighters worked at strengthening control lines and assessing community defense needs around Beasley Flats and Verde Lakes. The fire continues to remain on the east side of the Verde River.  Crews are working along State Route 260 to prepare for firing operations if direct line construction is unsuccessful.  Thirty-one years ago today, six firefighters were killed on the Dude Fire on the Payson Ranger District not far from the location of the Backbone Fire.  We honor their memory by learning from the tragedy and striving to not let such an event happen again.

Public Land Closures: Because of the extreme fire danger, many of the National Forests in Arizona have been closedto protect public health and safety. Please check the website for your specific National Forest for closure notifications.

Road Closures: State Route 260 is closed between Camp Verde and State Route 87. State Route 87 is closed at mile post 270 north of Payson to Clint’s Well. Motorists are advised to visit for current road closures.

Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) is working closely with the agencies responding to wildfires across the state. While there has been some impact to APS infrastructure due to the Backbone Fire, there are no customers without power at this time because of fire activity and disruption in service is not currently anticipated. APS is monitoring fire progress and will coordinate with emergency response agencies in the event there is a need to take power lines out of service to protect firefighters and/or if the fire or smoke impacts electrical infrastructure. APS customers can visit for information on how to be prepared for an outage and to view the APS outage map.

Weather: Temperatures will remain well above normal and are exceeding 100 degrees with single-digit humidity. Northwest winds will increase during the day with gusts of 25 mph possible.

Evacuations: Evacuation orders continue to be in place for the community of Strawberry and Pine has returned to “Set.” The communities of Beasley Flats and Verde Lakes are in a “Ready” status. Residents and visitors should contact their county or visit for information regarding evacuation status.   

No Drone Zone: A temporary flight restriction remains in place over the Backbone Fire.

Fire Danger Remains Extreme:  Please use caution when recreating or working outdoors. Check for fire restrictions or information on fire activity around Arizona at:

Backbone Fire Information

• Phone: 928-362-4088                                                           

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