Safford, AZ (7/31/23) – Lightning associated with monsoon storms continues to send wildland firefighting resources in all directions picking up new starts across the state, including the approximately 5,000-acre Treadway Fire located within the Black Mountains in Graham County.
On Saturday, July 29, two fires – the 2-acre Black Mountain and 20-acre Treadway Fires – started roughly 18 miles north of Safford and within two miles of each other. By Sunday, the terrain and wind-driven fires merged together with the incident now being referred to as the Treadway Fire. The fire pushed northeast through the afternoon yesterday, onto the San Carlos Reservation, and into flatter country where a hotshot crew engaged and conducted burnout operations along the north and northeast sides of the fire. That overnight operation was successful and they continued their efforts today burning out along existing roads and washes within the reservation as part of suppression efforts. A Department of Forestry and Fire Management (DFFM) hand crew and heavy aircraft took the southern end of the fire this morning and worked in conjunction to establish containment line on that side. Retardant usage was effective today within grass and brush and helped slow the fire’s spread. However, on the northwest side of the fire, and due to erratic winds, the fire pushed out to the northwest toward Slaughter Mountain. With more rugged terrain on that side, crews must wait for the fire to come out and into flat ground before they can safely engage. Aircraft will be used, if necessary, on Tuesday to help slow the fire’s progression on that northwest side until crews can safely begin suppression efforts. Air Attack (AA) has been requested for tomorrow to provide aerial reconnaissance and a more accurate size up.
Dry lightning and erratic winds associated with monsoon storms are complicating firefighting efforts by creating very extreme fire activity over the last 48 hours. On Sunday, two Large Air Tankers (LATs), six Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs), and one helicopter worked the fire for a few hours before being released by operations because their efforts were ineffective. The fires were burning separately at that time and both pushed through retardant lines and eventually merged. The Treadway Fire is not threatening any cultural values, infrastructure or structures at this time.
For more information, contact Tiffany Davila at 602-540-1036 or by email at [email protected]