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 Initial assessment of area burned by Horseshoe 2 released
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2 years ago

Initial assessment of area burned by Horseshoe 2 released

SIERRA VISTA - An initial assessment of the area burned by the Horseshoe 2 Fire has been released: the fire affected a total of 222,954 acres - 12 percent is classified as high severity soil burn.

Most the affected area has low-severity soil burns - 73.7 percent, or 84,852 acres.

The Burned Area Emergency Response Team's assessment states that the areas most at risk now are system roads throughout the burned area, campgrounds near streams, and landowners downstream of burn area.

Landowners at risk include those in the following watersheds: East White Tail, Cave Creek, East Turkey and Pine Creek.

Other at-risk values following the fire include: soil productivity and watershed functioning, native plant communities, water and soil quality, the Mexican Spotted Owl habitat, and endangered aquatic species, according to the BAER Team.

For complete information on the BAER Team's findings, click here to view their presentation (.PDF format).

2 years ago

Rehabilitation efforts begin where Horseshoe 2 fire burned

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. (AP) - With the Horseshoe Two Fire 100 percent contained, the focus now is bringing the area back to where it was.

A fire information officer says crews are patrolling burn areas and looking for any remaining hot spots, while rehabilitating fire lines and other fire suppression areas.

Rehabilitation efforts include removing cut trees and other fuels from the areas left over after the creation of fire lines.

Crews have been clearing trees the past few days in anticipation of those areas reopening.

Resources on the fire have been winding down since the third week of June. There are currently 255 personnel assigned to the fire, while at its most active there were 1,400.

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2 years ago

Rehab continues around Horseshoe 2 Fire

PARADISE, Ariz. - In what will likely be the final update on the Horseshoe 2 Fire, officials say that an excavator will complete work with the final rehab of a safety zone on the northeast corner of the fire.

The entire area is in patrol status today while crews wrap up suppression rehab operations. The Burned Area Emergency Response team's assessment and implementation continues today.

The Horseshoe 2 Fire grew to a total of 22,954 acres since it was started on May 8, and operations to fight the fire have cost $51.1 million to date.

Twenty-three structures were destroyed by the human-caused fire, officials say.

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2 years ago

Rehab begins for area burned by Horseshoe 2 Fire

PORTAL - The Horseshoe 2 Fire is still 100 percent contained; the cost to date of fighting this fire is $50.6 million.

Today, the command of the fire will continue to transition to a new team that will work with an excavator to rehab a fire fighter safety zone on the northeast flank of the perimeter, according to incident officials. Trail work will continue in West Turkey Creek.

Yesterday, crews removed hazardous trees along the Forest Route 42 and West Turkey Creek. The entire fire area is in "patrol status," while firefighters wrap up final suppression rehab.

The Burned Area Emergency Response team will continue to assess the area for long-term damage, and implement methods to prevent further soil erosion and other negative effects of the fire.

All evacuations have been, but Coronado National Forest and Chiricahua National Monument remain closed to the public. Some limited access is being considered, officials say.

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2 years ago

Response team working to restore damage done by Horseshoe 2 Fire

PORTAL - Although the Horseshoe 2 Fire is now 100 percent contained, work is just beginning on restoring and stabilizing the area to prevent further damage from flooding and erosion.

The Burned Area Emergency Response Team has released a map depicting the final severity of burned soil, showing where treatments will be necessary to help slow the flow of water and mud slides.

"The task of evaluating the values-of-risk is a very time-consuming and methodical process," said BAER Team Leader, Marc Stamer. He added, "We are dealing with a fire that is over 222,000 acres in size with 27 different watersheds that were burned. Each watershed needs to be assessed and analyzed to ensure that any proposed stabilization treatments will be effective."

The BAER will use methods such as mulching, sandbags, concrete barriers, diversion ditches, debris basins and silt fencing to minimize the risk of excessive runoff and soil erosion.

"It is important that the treatments we plan to implement are appropriate and effective with regards to having the potential to minimize runoff and erosion," Stamer said. "We don't want to propose a treatment that could exacerbate the runoff."

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2 years ago

Horseshoe 2 Fire now fully contained

PORTAL - The Horseshoe 2 Fire burning in southeastern Arizona near Portal is now 100 percent contained.

Fire officials declared the incident fully contained on Saturday evening, but fire suppression and wildlife rehabilitation work will continue. The Burned Area Emergency Response Team will work "for some time" to stabilize the area and minimize soil erosion.

A helicopter was used to remove debris from the Barfoot Lookout area on Saturday, and crews also used a chipping machine to break down fallen branches and brush to clear debris around roads, especially Forest Route 42.

All evacuations around the Horseshoe 2 Fire have been lifted, but Coronado National Forest and Chiricahua National Monument remain closed to the public. Officials are considering allowing limited access to these areas.

For information on the current status of homes and structures on private property, call the Cochise County Sheriff's Department at: 520.432.9500

Pictured: Rehab crew on west side, Credit: Jack Conner

2 years ago

Horseshoe2 Fire remains 95% contained

TUCSON - The Horseshoe 2 wildfire remains 95% contained Saturday afternoon.

Full containment is expected sometime this evening.

It has burned over 222,000 acres since it began.

The Chiricahua National Monument still remains closed.

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2 years ago

Horseshoe 2 Fire containment expected tomorrow

PORTAL - The Horseshoe 2 Fire is now 95 percent contained, with full containment expected by tomorrow evening.

The 222,954-acre fire was transferred to the command of Benes' Northern Rockies Incident Management Team, and the incident base camp was moved to Willcox High School.

Mopup operations and patrols will continue today around the fire's perimeter and interior along Forest infrastructure, and suppression rehab will continue as well.

2 years ago

New containment date for Horseshoe 2 Fire

TUCSON - Firefighters battling the second-largest wildfire in Arizona had hoped to have it contained yesterday, but have now changed that.

They now say the Horseshoe 2 Fire, burning in southeastern Arizona in the Chiricahua Mountains, should be totally contained by Saturday, June 25th. It is now 95% contained.

The fire has burned 222,954 acres and has cost $47,618,204 to fight.
It began May 8th in Horseshoe Canyon on the Douglas Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest, which remains closed.

Today resources are moving further into the fire interior to continue suppression rehabalilitation.

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2 years ago

Horseshoe 2 Fire is 95 percent contained

PORTAL - Firefighters are on track to have the Horseshoe 2 Fire contained by today, the date originally estimated for containment of the 222,954-acre blaze burning near Portal.

The Horseshoe 2 Fire is now 95 percent contained, as of the latest update. Today, firefighters will mop-up and patrol the north, east and west flanks of the fire along roads within the perimeter, incident officials say. Construction of a direct fire line will take place today around the structures on the north and east flanks of the fire, officials say. Crews will continue to rehab structure protection areas today.

All utilities and services have been restored, except for phone lines in west Turkey Creek.

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2 years ago

Horseshoe 2 Post Fire Preparedness Workshop Thursday

TUCSON - As the Horseshoe 2 fire now approaches full containment, a post-fire preparedness workshop for area residents is offered Thursday evening June 23, 2011.

The meeting will be held at the Sunizona Assembly of God Church, Hwy 181 & Dos Cabezas Rd Sunizona, AZ, from 6pm - 8pm.

This workshop will be an opportunity to learn about technical assistance and other services offered by the U.S. Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Please RSVP to: Congresswoman Giffords' office 520-881-3588 shay.saucedo@mail.house.gov

PHOTO CREDIT Ron Kaczor

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2 years ago

Horseshoe 2 expected to be contained by tomorrow

PORTAL - The Horseshoe 2 Fire burning near Portal is now 223,214 acres in size, but is 90 percent contained.

The indirect control line has been secured with aerial and ground firing operations, say incident officials - now mop-up and suppression rehab of the flanks of the fire perimeter continue. Some of the 1,078 personnel currently fighting this fire also went to the interior of the fire to remove hazards such as fallen trees.

The the Methodist Camp, crews began suppression rehab, and identified the control line within the interior of the fire perimeter. Crews also continued structure protection and mop-up around residence on the north and east flanks of the fire.

Today, crews will continue patrol and hot-spotting on the north and east flanks, and maintain structure protection and mop-up around residence. Crews will continue their efforts to control and destroy hotspots along the perimeter.

The expected containment date is tomorrow, June 22.

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2 years ago

Horseshoe 2 now 80 pct. contained

PORTAL - Although the Horseshoe 2 Fire burning near Portal is now 80 percent contained, it has grown to 213,511 acres since the last update from incident officials.

Burnout operations on the northwest perimeter continued, along with structure protection along the north and east flanks. Crews will continue to mop-up and patrol the inactive flanks for the fire today.

Although the evacuation order for west Turkey Creek has been lifted, the Coronado National Forest remains closed at this time, officials say.

The expected containment date for this fire remains June 22.

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2 years ago

Horseshoe 2 fire burns 206,314 acres

TUCSON - The Horseshoe 2 fire has burned 206,314 acres since it began back on May 8th.

Firefighters have it 70% contained Saturday afternoon.

Over 12 hundred firefighters continue to battle the fire.

Full containment is expected June 22.

2 years ago

HORSESHOE 2 FIRE PASSES 200,000 ACRES

TUCSON The Horseshoe 2 Fire, burning in the Chiricahua Mountains since May 8th, has now passed 206,000 burned acres. The US Forest Service reports tonight the fire is now 70% contained. More than 1200 firefighter remain fighting this fire.

The Chiricahua National Monument remains closed.

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2 years ago

Acreage increases on Horseshoe Two fire

PORTAL, Ariz. (AP) - The Horseshoe Two wildfire in southeastern Arizona is closing in on 200,000 acres. The Forest Service reports the wildfire is now at 198,174 acres or 309 square miles.

The fire remains 60 percent contained.

Strong southwest winds, hot temperatures and very low relative humidity will produce critical red flag fire weather across the Cochise County burn area Thursday. Crews are focused on containment lines and structure protection Thursday.

Firefighters extended burnout operations to the western boundary of the Chiricahua National Monument Wednesday without loss of any historic structures.

Pictured: Fire Plume on 13 June, 2011, Credit: Ron Kaczor

2 years ago

Residents allowed to return home evacuated by the Horseshoe 2 fire

WHITETAIL - Good news for Whitetail residents evacuated by the Horseshoe 2 fire. They have been allowed to return home Wednesday morning.

But they may experience heavy smoke at times and will see smoke from the fire.

The fire has burned more than 184,000 acres and is 60% contained.

Meantime, a public meeting will be held tonight for those affected by it. It will be at 6:00 p.m. At the Eldorado Community Center.

The Coronado National Forest and Chiricahua National Monument remain closed.

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2 years ago

Horseshoe 2 reaches 53 pct. containment

PORTAL - The Horseshoe 2 Fire is now 171,333 acres in size, and about 1,314 personnel have the fire 53 percent contained, as of the latest update.

Winds have been actively backing the fire into grass and brush, fueling a solid flame front which will continue until it hits the containment line, incident officials say.

A GPS flight and recon of the containment perimeter has been conducted to model the long-term behavior of the fire and the effects to the area. Local utility companies are continuing to repair power lines and poles in safe areas. Crews continue to mop-up around structures in Turkey Creek before they let evacuees return to that area.

While the fire continues further into Chiricahua National Monument, personnel are using aerial ignition along the ridges to reduce the intensity of the fire there, officials say.

Today, crews will construct an indirect line and progress burnouts along the west flank of the fire, and continue evaluation of where the next indirect line will be placed. Crews will also work to protect structures and mop up in Whitetail, Pinery Road and Turkey Creek.

The expected containment date of this human-caused fire is still June 22.

Pictured:Igniting ridgeline at Chiricahua National Monument from the air

Credit: USFS

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2 years ago

Heavy fuels cause Horseshoe 2 to spread over weekend

PORTAL - The Horseshoe 2 Fire remains at about 48 percent containment, and has grown to 148,505 acres, spreading to the west, northwest, north and south.

The larger fire spread over the weekend is predominately due to heavier fuels and some wind influence, incident officials say. Continuing erratic winds have caused short runs of the fire in some areas, but long, sustained runs have not yet developed.

Today, crews will maintain structure protection, and continue to mop up around structures in Whitetail, Pinery Road and Turkey Creek, officials say. Crews will also continue selective aerial ignition, when conditions are good, to minimize the fire intensity in the north end of Coronado National Forest and Chiricahua National Monument.

Utility companies are beginning to repair power lines and poles in safe areas.

The expected containment date for the Horseshoe 2 Fire is still June 22.

Image courtesy: USFS

2 years ago

Wildfire in SE Arizona is now 45 percent contained

PORTAL, Ariz. (AP) - Fire crews spending their Sunday battling the Horseshoe Two fire will be contending again with gusty winds and very low humidity.

The fire has burned 141,301 acres - more than 220 square miles - and now is 45 percent contained.

Firefighters may be dealing with fires spotting across containment lines and the possibility that aircraft may not be able to fly due to high winds.

Crews continued to mop-up and patrol areas Saturday night on the east flank along containment lines and around structures in the Whitetail area.

The U.S. Forest Service says a successful burn out operation was conducted in the Brushy Canyon area to help widen lines.

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2 years ago

Wildfire in SE Arizona is now 45 percent contained

PORTAL, Ariz. (AP) - Crews working the Horseshoe Two wildfire in southeastern Arizona are reporting progress.

The fire has burned 134,615 acres - more than 200 square miles - and now is 45 percent contained. That containment figure is up from Friday's 40 percent mark.

Officials say crews continue to secure structures near the west, northwest and northeast perimeters of the month-old wildfire along with completing structure protection operations.

More burn outs are planned to buffer and strengthen the lines in many areas of the fire.

The Coronado National Forest and Chiricahua National Monument remain closed due to extreme fire danger.

The wildfire began May 8 and is believed to be human caused. It already has destroyed 23 structures.

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2 years ago

Nine structures lost to Horseshoe 2 Fire so far

WHITETAIL, Ariz. - Thee residences and six other buildings have been confirmed as destroyed by the Horseshoe 2 Fire following a thorough assessment of Whitetail.

The Horseshoe 2 Fire is now at 128,652 acres and 40 percent containment. Crews totaling 1,054 personnel are continuing to construct a containment line along the active southwest, west and north flanks of the fire perimeter, according to incident officials.

Today, crews will also conduct firing operations around historical, administrative and recreational sites in the Chiricahua National Monument.

High winds and red flag conditions on Wednesday pushed the fire past the existing containment lines, creating fire whirls in some areas.

The fire was started on May 8 - containment is expectedon June 22, according to incident officials.

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2 years ago

Containment of Horseshoe 2 Fire drops to 40 pct.

TUCSON - Red flag winds with 40 mph gusts expanded the Horseshoe Two Fire yesterday - dropping containment from 50 percent to 40 percent, and growing the area burned to 116,024 acres.

According to incident officials, an evacuation order has been issued for Pinery Road, and all Coronado National Forest land will close at noon today.

Winds drove expansion of the Horseshoe Two Fire to the west, north, and east, and caused it to cross containment lines along Pinery Creek and Whitetail canyon.

Assessments show that three residences and four outbuildings were destroyed in the vicinity of West Turkey Creek yesterday, officials say. To date, 14 structures have been lost to the Horseshoe Two Fire.

Crews will continue to construct and improve an indirect fireline to the north and west of the fire, as well as efforts to protect historic buildings and cultural sites in the Chiricahua National Monument. Triage and fuel reduction efforts around threatened structures will continue today, incident officials say.

In addition to Pinery Canyon Road, the following existing closures remain in effect:

• The community of Whitetail and East Whitetail Canyon Road
• Forest Road 42B west of Portal
• Forest Road 42 at the junction of Herb Martyr Road
• Paradise Road at the junction of Foothills Road and Nolan Road

Officials estimate the fire will be contained by June 22. Currently a crew of just over 1,000 is fighting the blaze - operations so far have cost $32,281,552.

Image courtesy Credit: Titus SWIMT via Inciweb.org

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2 years ago

Horseshoe 2 Fire is 50 percent contained

PORTAL - As of the latest update, the Horseshoe 2 Fire has consumed 106,661 acres, but is now 50 percent contained by a crew of just under 1,000.

The evacuation order for the community of Paradise has been lifted, however, evacuations remain in effect for Whitetail and the Chiricahua National Monument.

The human-caused fire burning near Portal, Arizona, was sparked exactly one month ago, and is expected to be contained by June 22, according to incident officials.

Gusty winds carried the fire across the containment line on the western flank to an area south of West Turkey Creek, causing a "slopover" fire over 100 acres in size which destroyed one residence and damaged another structure.

Today, operations will attempt to stop the fire from spreading further into West Turkey Creek, and crews will be working with the Coronado National Forest and Chiricahua National Monument to develop a management strategy for the coming days.

Click here to download a Google Earth file containing the latest data on the Horseshoe 2 Fire. (Google Earth is required to view this file).

Pictured: A plume of smoke coming from the Horseshoe 2 Fire, Credit: Todd Abel SWIMT via Inciweb.org

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2 years ago

One month on, Horseshoe 2 just over half-contained

TUCSON - Nearly one month after it began, the Horseshoe 2 Fire remains at about 104,285 acres in size and 55 percent containment - five structures have been lost to this fire to date, and operations have cost almost $30 million.

According to incident officials, since Horseshoe 2 was sparked on May 8, two cabins, one bunkhouse, two toilets and one look-out have been lost, and 30 residences are currently threatened, along with 35 other structures.

Today, firefighters will continue to fortify the north and northwest portions of the wildfire to protect the community of Whitetail and the Chiricahua National Monument, officials say. Crews also hope to hold the fire south of Road #356 between Pinery Canyon and Whitetail.

In spite of high temperatures, 35 mph wind gusts and extremely dry fuels, the fire did not more significantly yesterday. Today, if the weather allows, burn out operations may be implemented to slow the fire's growth to the north, officials say.

The following evacuations and road closures are still in effect around the fire:

• The communities of Whitetail and Paradise remain evacuated.
• Forest Road 42B is closed west of Portal
• Forest Road 42 is closed at the junction of Herb Martyr Road
• Pinery Canyon Road (Forest Road 42) is closed at the west forest boundary
• Paradise Road is closed at the junction of Foothills Road and Nolan Road
• Chiricahua National Monument remains closed to the public until further notice

Fuel reduction will occur around historical buildings in the Chiricahua National Monument and private structures in Whitetail Canyon. The Burned Area Emergency Response assessment teams are looking at burned areas and will recommend and implement treatment to begin rehabilitating areas affected by the fire, officials say.

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