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Sunset Fire north of Black Canyon City burns 52 acres before being extinguished

6/29/16

BLACK CANYON CITY – A brush fire north of Black Canyon City, in the I-17/Bumble Bee area, burned 52 acres on June 21. Fire crews were able to extinguish the flames by that evening, and no injuries were reported from the fire.

The Sunset Fire was sparked when a vehicle caught fire and the fire spread to the surrounding wildland. The fire was located on Bureau of Land Management lands. BLM, Black Canyon City Fire Department, and Daisy Mountain Fire Department all responded; the fire was fought via air and ground attack. The combined efforts of the fire crews helped minimize the damage of the fire and put out the blaze within the same day.

Daisy Mountain Fire Battalion Chief Dave Wilson noted that it is not uncommon for fire departments to respond immediately to fires located on State or BLM land, due to the availability of these units in relation to response times.  

“Once the initial arriving crews arrive, the appropriate agencies are notified and if deemed necessary (the fire exceeds the capabilities of units on scene) the responsible agency will respond,” Wilson explained. “In most cases, State Land or BLM will likely assume responsibility and manage the incident with their own resources. If needed, they may request that Fire Department resources remain on scene to assist with the mitigation efforts. If Fire Department resources are requested and remain on the incident, Arizona State Land or BLM will reimburse DMFD for the equipment and manpower utilized.”

Daisy Mountain Fire is part of a Valley-wide automatic aid agreement; when crews are out of area, DMFD automatically receives aid from one of 27 partner agencies that partner to make sure that all calls get answered as quickly as possible.

“This ensures that no area is left without coverage in the event that an emergency should tie up resources from the area and or the surrounding areas,” Wilson said. “This agreement allows for units to respond seamlessly without jurisdictional boundaries or be moved to other stations to respond to any additional emergencies that may occur simultaneously.”

The Sunset Fire caused a long I-17 backup, as the right lane of the freeway was closed due to the fire. On June 23, another fire north of that area also caused backups and partial closures on the I-17. The Black Canyon Fire burned six acres and was extinguished.

Fires sparked by vehicles are common, especially during fire season. BLM Arizona Fire reminds drivers to check that chains on their vehicles are properly secured, as dragging chains can throw sparks. Motorists also need to make sure that nothing is dragging on their vehicles. Brakes need to be maintained for fire safety, as well, as brakes worn thin may have metal-to-metal contact and throw sparks. The BLM warns drivers not to drive on dry grass or brush since exhaust pipes and mufflers could spark fires. The BLM also encourages drivers to carry fire extinguishers in their vehicles.

For more information on wildfire prevention, see http://wildlandfire.az.gov.