Whiteriver, Arizona – The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Wildland Fire Management, is preparing to hand over command to a Type 3 incident command team as the Flying V Fire continues to rapidly expand along Highway 60. The fire, which started on Wednesday, July 5, 2023, at approximately 2:17 p.m., has already engulfed an extensive area, reaching a staggering 722 acres the first day.
While five smaller fires that ignited alongside Highway 60 were successfully contained and remained under half an acre each, the Flying V Fire emerged as the largest and most challenging blaze to combat. Authorities have determined that the fire was human-caused, although the exact cause has yet to be determined.
Moving in a northeast direction through pinyon-juniper forests and grasslands west of Highway 60, the Flying V Fire poses an ongoing threat. As a result, a Type 3 incident command team is poised to assume control of the firefighting operations tonight at 6:00 PM, bolstering efforts to contain and suppress the fire’s advance.
This specialized incident command team, comprised of seasoned professionals with extensive experience in managing complex wildfires, will bring additional resources and expertise to the scene. Their arrival aims to enhance coordination, strategy, and overall effectiveness in battling the Flying V Fire.
Although no structures or infrastructure are currently in immediate danger, the severity of the situation underscores the importance of maintaining vigilance in dry forest conditions. The Flying V Fire serves as a potent reminder that even a small spark can ignite a major wildfire, necessitating utmost caution.
Due to the ongoing firefighting operations, Highway 60 remains closed in both directions north of Globe, spanning between mileposts 256 and 311. Commuters are advised to seek alternate routes until further notice, as reopening the highway hinges upon successful containment and mitigation efforts.