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Last remaining Backbone Fire road closure lifted as containment grows

(InciWeb Photo)

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PHOENIX — The last remaining highway closure related to the Backbone Fire near Strawberry was lifted Tuesday as crews continued to gain control of the situation, authorities said.

State Route 260 is now open between Camp Verde and State Route 87, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Growth of the lightning-caused Backbone Fire, which started about 12 miles west of Pine and Strawberry on June 16, has been minimal in recent days. The footprint remained at 40,855 acres, with containment increasing from 64% to 76% as of Tuesday evening, according to InciWeb.

Just over 315 personnel were still working on clean-up and containment activities.

Evacuation orders for residents of Strawberry and Pine were lifted over the weekend.

With dry conditions continuing to create a high risk for wildfires, closures also have been enacted at most of the state’s national forests.

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