Jomax Fire

Jomax Fire ignited from remote-control airplane crash, has burned over 1,000 acres

By TARA ALATORRE

NORTH PHOENIX –  A second-alarm brush fire that burned 1,145 acres in the Phoenix Phoenix Sonoran Preserve near Cave Creek and Jomax roads on the afternoon of July 7, was allegedly sparked from a remote-control airplane that crashed, according to Phoenix fire officials.

Officials say the Jomax Fire was sparked around 2:30 p.m. close to the small airplane field where the remote-control plane had taken off from. A man interviewed at the scene said his small airplane had crashed, sparking the fire.

Smoke from the Jomax Fire on the afternoon of July 7, near Cave Creek and Jomax roads. (Photo by Karen Alexander/Staff)

Crews from Scottsdale Fire Department, Daisy Mountain Fire and Medical and wildland firefighters from state and federal agencies were deployed. It took firefighters over six hours to contain the blaze and mop up operations are continuing, the Arizona State Forestry tweeted.

Phoenix Fire Department Captain Rob McDade said in a live Facebook video on July 7, that the flames from the fire crossed Sonoran Desert Drive, which prompted closures in the area that lasted for days.

As of July 9, the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management reported that the Jomax Fire was 90 percent contained. Also, road closures were still in place for Cave Creek Road at Sonoran Desert Drive due to guardrail damage.

Phoenix Fire Department’s crews working at a brush fire near Cave Creek and Jomax roads around 3 p.m., shortly after it ignited on July 7.

“There is some interior smoke and we are aware, it is being monitored,” AZDFFM stated in a recent Facebook post.

“That fire came through here in a giant swath and just took this out,” McDade said in the video. “This is the road we were hoping it would jump [Sonoran Desert Drive]. You can tell from all this burned out area that it jumped the road and that is when the fire was bounced to a second-alarm fire.”

No evacuations were required, and no structures were damaged from the Jomax Fire.

“Everybody just did a phenomenal job,” McDade said in the video. “As you know fighting wildfires is difficult, the wind shifts we’ve got some areas with a tremendous amount of fuel.”

He went on to say that “We need to put these wildland fires out but we need to protect your homes, businesses and everything else and what a collaboration of everyone out here that did a great job ensuring that none of the homes were threatened….and it was a big fire.”

 “We’re going to be out here for a while,” he said.  “So, long task for us, we’re going to be out here mopping up taking care of these hot spots.”