Firefighters work to increase containment as weather turns hotter and drier
Start Date: Saturday, June 19, 2021
Acres: Wyrick: 7,592 acres
Location: 2 miles north of Mogollon HS, Heber, AZ Containment: 24%
Fuels: Pinyon-Juniper, Timber and grass
Total Personnel: 349
West Chev Start Date: Saturday, June 19, 2021
Acres: 774 acres
Location: 12.5 miles northwest of Heber, AZ West Chev: 28%
Fuels: Timber and grass
Daily Update 6/25/2021
Announcement: The Wyrick and West Chev fires will host a virtual community meeting, Friday, June 25, at 7:00 pm. Watch on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WyrickFire
Overview: Imagery from an overnight IR (infrared) flight showed widespread heat remaining in both fires. Today’s updated acreage totals are based on this IR imagery.
On Thursday, cloudy skies and light rain continued to temporarily moderate fire activity on the Wyrick and West Chev fires. This allowed firefighters to directly attack the edges of the Wyrick Fire. They constructed and improved a significant amount of additional fireline, which is reflected in increased containment percentage on both fires.
A warming and drying trend is developing over the area. Increased fire activity is expected through this weekend. Helicopters and air tankers are available to assist ground personnel if either fire shows significantly higher activity.
Wyrick: Yesterday, hand crews and bulldozers constructed and improved containment lines throughout the fire perimeter. Today firefighters primarily will monitor, patrol, secure the fires edge and remove heat (“mop-up”) along the entire perimeter of the fire to prevent further fire growth.
West Chev: On Thursday, firefighters were able to begin constructing fireline. Today, personnel plan to burn remaining fuel between the fire’s edge and Forest Road 169B that goes to Chevelon Lake to better secure the fire. They also plan to prepare FR 180 for firing. Crews and engines will patrol and mop up hot spots that are close to fire’s edge.
Ready, Set, Go: The Navajo County Sheriff’s Office announced that residents in GO status were allowed to return to their homes on Thursday. Visit Navajo County Emergency Management for additional information about the Ready, Set, Go program and how to sign up for alerts.
Weather: Friday, Saturday and Sunday will bring back the warmer and drier conditions typical of late June. Fire weather conditions will be elevated but not critical. Today winds will be mostly light with some afternoon breezes. Winds will generally be out of the west. There is a 10 to 20% chance of afternoon cloud development and thunderstorms – particularly in the north. Today’s maximum temperature will be in the mid-80s, with relative humidity dropping to about 15%.
Areas in SET:
• Antelope Valley
• Despain Ranch
• Heber-and Overgaard
• Chevelon Retreat
• Areas north of State Route 260 and northwest of State Route 277
Residents that have been allowed to return to their homes Thursday morning are asked to remain alert and keep apprised of current fire conditions.
Closures: A complete closure of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests went into effect Thursday morning at 6:00 am. Additional details can be found at Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests – News & Events (usda.gov). Forest Road 504 remains closed because of the fire crews and equipment working to secure the Wyrick Fire. At 8:00 am today,
Smoke: Localized smoke impacts may exist in communities east of the fire if fire activity picks up, mainly in the afternoon. Expect smoke production from the east side of Wyrick this afternoon once conditions dry out, especially southern facing slopes in the fire perimeters. While not a lot of smoke is expected from both fires today, this weekend is trending drier and hotter, so expect some smoke production. A predominant southwest wind today should transport any generated smoke to the Northeast. If fire activity increases, expect smoke impacts to Holbert, Snowflake, Concho, St. Johns, and Winslow. Overnight drainage winds may push smoke into Forest Lakes. The area may see influence from the Backbone and Rafael fires if winds shift as predicted, from the north. The Daily Smoke Outlook can be found by visiting https://fires.airfire.org/outlooks/EasternArizona
• West Chev: West Chev Information – InciWeb the Incident Information System (nwcg.gov)
• Wyrick: Wyrick Fire Information – InciWeb the Incident Information System (nwcg.gov) Wyrick-West Chev Fire Information: (20+) Wyrick-West Chev Fire Information | Facebook Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests: Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests – Home (usda.gov) Eastern Arizona Current Outlook: Smoke Forecast Outlooks (airfire.org)
Highway Closures: https://az511.gov/
Navajo County Emergency Management: https://www.navajocountyaz.gov/Departments/Emergency- Management-and-Preparedness/Ready-Navajo-County-Notification-System/Ready-Navajo-County- Registration
Navajo County Emergency Management Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NavajoCountyEM/ Navajo County Sheriff’s Office: https://www.facebook.com/NCSO.AZ/posts/4060988313951038
Fire Restrictions in Arizona: WildlandFire.AZ.gov/fire-restrictions
State Trust Land in all 15 counties are closed for recreational
use. For current information on state routes, please continue to watch Arizona Department of
Values: Firefighter and public safety are the highest priorities on these fires. Protect properties and infrastructure, as well as power and transmission lines, communication towers, campgrounds, critical