First crew of the season heads west

Into Arizona heat, forests and wildfires

A 20-member Minnesota Interagency Fire Center (MIFC) Type-2 initial attack crew, led by crew bosses Ryan Halvorson (USFS-CPF) and Jeremy Pace (USFS-SPF), left Grand Rapids this morning for a 14-day regional support assignment in Mesa, Arizona. They are headed toward 21 active wildfires and triple-digit temperatures.

Kneeling front L-R: Tom Remus (BIA), Paul Lundgren (DNR), Chase Marshall (USFS) send off MIFC crew #3 to Arizona on June 27

Last week, Arizona Governor Ducey declared a state of emergency and stage 2 fire restrictions are in place for most of Arizona. This prohibits campfires, smoking outdoors, using explosives or firearms, operating small engines, welding outdoors or parking cars near grassy areas.

WildCAD map of Arizona wildfires, June 27 at 1130
WildCAD map of Arizona wildfires, June 27 at 1130

Outside of Safford, the 38,500-acre Frye Fire is the largest wildfire in Arizona right now. It is in the Coronado National Forest where there are five active incidents. An Area Command Team was ordered there yesterday and more than 392 active lightning strikes were detected in the forest over the weekend.

Accuweather heat index map
AccuWeather heat index map, June 27

Stay safe, hydrated and healthy, crew! Hot temperatures, low humidity and gusty winds remain in the forecastWildfire Today reports dozens of confirmed cases of strep throat at a Frye Fire spike camp this week.