CAMP VERDE, Ariz., June 17, 2021 — The Backbone Fire was reported last night at 11:30 p.m. near the Fossil Creek recreation area and Child’s powerplant substation, approximately 12 miles west of Pine and Strawberry, and 15 miles southeast of Camp Verde.
There is currently no threat to any community, but areas such as Strawberry and Pine should be ready to evacuate should this or any other fire begin to threaten those communities.
The fire is estimated to have grown to 1,200 acres today and is very active in forest fuels such as chaparral, brush, and grass. Crews were successful in conducting burnout operations around the communication tower on Ike's Backbone to protect the infrastructure.
Due to the extreme terrain and location of the fire, access to the area is limited. Five air resources, including air attack, lead plane, helicopter, and two tankers have been working on suppressing the wildfire today.
Air resources were able to drop lines of retardant along the west side of the fire to protect the Child’s powerplant substation, and also on the northeast side of the fire, but there is still zero containment.
The Fossil Creek recreation area will be closed due to wildfire danger, which includes Waterfall Trail, Irving/Flume, Tonto Bench, Fossil Creek Bridge, Homestead, Sally May, Purple Mountain, and Mazatzal.
The current strategy is to keep the fire from crossing on the east side of Fossil Creek so that it does not become a threat to Strawberry and Pine.