At 1:30 on June 3, 2013, Pinion Pine firefighters received an alarm for a small brush fire on Interstate 40 near Blake Ranch Rd. Upon the arrival of E523 and C501, crews found a 1 acre fire in the median just east of Blake Ranch Rd in light grasses and brush being fueled by 15 MPH winds. Crews began cutting line and suppressing the fire when it jumped the westbound lanes of travel into the gore zone.
|The fire shortly after it spotted across |
westbound traffic into the gore zone
At this time B516 was dispatched and the Arizona Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol was notified for traffic control due to resources on both side of the Interstate and smoke blowing across the roadway. ADOT water tenders arrived on scene and also began suppressing the fire utilizing their spray bars and side discharges. E516 arrived and began cutting line around the northwest corner, preventing it from crossing the exit into an area with multiple structures.
Crews were on scene for approximately 4 hours and the westbound Blake Ranch Rd exit was closed for roughly 1 hour. The cause of the fire is unknown and no injuries were reported. A major factor in fire spread was due to high temperatures, high winds and low fuel moisture's in light flashy fuels and although resources were on scene in 10 minutes, this fire rapidly grew to 3.25 acres before forward progress was stopped.
|Firefighters Mike Schmidt and Heath Markley successfully|
stop the forward progress of the fire
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Photos by Captain Gail Jackson
Article by Lt. Ron Hood