US 60 Closed as Crews Fight Flying V Fire

Helicopter woks the Flying V Fire . PHOTO credit: BIA Fort Apache AgencyHelicopter woks the Flying V Fire . PHOTO credit: BIA Fort Apache Agency

Cibeque, AZ – Thursday 7/6/2023

The Flying V Fire, which ignited yesterday, is still being fought by firefighters, leading to the continued closure of US Highway 60 today. Traffic through that area is being detoured through Payson or Alpine depending on your final destination.

The fire rapidly spread and and flame lengths have reached as high as 50 feet. Tonight, at 6 PM, a type 3 incident command team is anticipated to assume control of the firefighting operations.

Flying V Fire burning near Cibeque AZ: PHOTO BIA Fort Apache Agency
Flying V Fire burning near Cibecue AZ: PHOTO Credit – BIA Fort Apache Agency

According to the Division of Wildland Fire Management for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, a total of six fires ignited along U.S. Highway 60 at approximately 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday. Fortunately, five of these fires were successfully contained, each covering an area of less than half an acre.

However, the Flying V Fire defied containment efforts and rapidly spread towards the northeast, advancing through pinyon-juniper forests and grasslands located about 20 Miles west of Fort Apache in White River, Arizona.

By Wednesday night, the fire had devoured a total of 722 acres. Thankfully, no structures or infrastructure were endangered during the blaze.

Authorities have determined that the fire was caused by human activity, although the exact cause has not yet been disclosed.