Coconino National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
1824 S. Thompson St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
GILA COUNTY SHERRIF'S OFFICE PRESS RELEASE
Sheriff J. Adam Shepherd would like to release the following information regarding the evacuated areas of Strawberry and Hunt Ranch due to the Backbone Fire.
The Gila County Shcritrs Office will be ,noving the areas of Strawberry and Hunt Ranch back to a SET status allowing residents lo return home at 4 pm today. Those residents in Pine, Strawberry and Hunt Ranch will remain in SET status and need to be prepared if there are any significant changes in fire behavior.
This decision was reached in discussion with Southwest Area Team I due to the efforts of the fire crews in suppression activities on the east side of the Backbone fire. This did not eliminate the danger, but it has been reduced with the moisture received over the last few days.
The Arizona Departme111 of Transpor1ation will be moving the hard closure from mile post 270 on highway 87 been Pine and Strawberry to mile posl 270.5. Fossil Creek Rd and Highway 87. The speed limit from Payson 10 Pine and again, from Pine to Strawberry was reduced to 45 mph. There will still be a significant amount of fire traffic in the area, and you are asked to use caution when traveling on Hwy 87.
The Sheriff's Oflice would like to ask for your cooperation in an orderly return of the residents to Strawberry,