Here’s the latest on Arizona’s most disruptive active wildfires

Jun 29, 2021, 12:52 PM | Updated: 9:34 pm
Rafael Fire (InciWeb Photo)...
Rafael Fire (InciWeb Photo)
(InciWeb Photo)

PHOENIX – Wildfire season is raging on across Arizona, causing damage and prompting evacuations and road closures throughout the state.

Fueled by hot and dry conditions, fires have torched hundreds of thousands of acres this year.

Most of Arizona’s national forests, as well as state trust lands and parks outside incorporated municipalities, have implemented closures in response to the heightened wildfire risk.

Here’s an updated look at the most disruptive active wildfires across Arizona (in reverse chronological order of when they were first detected):

Rafael Fire

The Rafael Fire started June 18 and had consumed 78,708 acres across the Yavapai-Coconino county line with 72% containment as of Tuesday evening, according to InciWeb. The size was the same but with 59% containment Tuesday morning.

Nearly 600 personnel are still assigned to the Rafael Fire, which started as four small fires sparked by lightning before merging into one large blaze in parts of the Prescott, Kaibab and Coconino national forests.

The Sycamore Canyon area evacuation orders were lifted Tuesday afternoon.

Backbone Fire

The Backbone Fire ignited about 12 miles east of Strawberry on June 16 and had consumed nearly 40,855 acres with 76% containment as of Tuesday evening, the same measurement from the morning but with 64% containment.

Just over 319 personnel are assigned to the lightning-caused blaze.

The last related road closure, State Route 260 between Camp Verde and SR 87, was lifted Tuesday morning, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Evacuation orders for Strawberry and Pine ended over the weekend.

Telegraph Fire

The sixth-largest wildfire in Arizona history started June 4 south of Superior and spread eastward south of Globe to consume 180,756 acres as of Tuesday morning, with only minor changes in the past week, according to InciWeb. The Telegraph Fire damaged or destroyed 52 structures, including some homes.

Containment is over 90% and was expected to reach 100% in the coming days.

Staffing is down to under 300 personnel, less than a third of the peak level.

All evacuation orders and road closures in the area have been lifted.

The exact origin of the Telegraph Fire hasn’t been determined, but it’s being investigated as a human-caused incident.

Find a map showing the location of this season’s wildfires in Arizona and around the country plus status reports at InciWeb.

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Here’s the latest on Arizona’s most disruptive active wildfires