Polles Fire 61% Contained
Payson Roundup (July 9, 2020) by Alexis Bechman
After winds initially pushed the Polles Fire northeast for a few tense days, crews on Thursday reported marked containment on the 572-acre fire west of Payson.
As of Thursday morning, the fire was 61% contained.
There has been no reported growth on the fire since Sunday evening.
In a briefing Wednesday, Pierson said, “Today is really dedicated from (the firefighters) to the family and firefighter family of BJ Boatman, the pilot that we lost yesterday.”
Pierson said they felt very confident with containment on the southern end of the fire and crews were focusing their efforts on hotspots on the north end toward Rock Creek Canyon.
In a briefing Thursday, Rocky Gilbert, an operations chief, said crews made excellent progress on Wednesday, and they were looking for any final hotspots.
“We are getting the fire buttoned up,” he said, saying they would start taking crews off the fire starting Thursday as they work toward handing the incident back over to the Forest Service.
Officials earlier in the week reported the fire was burning through manzanita and juniper. While crews had cut lines, spot fires were starting ahead of those thanks to winds carrying embers.
Crews cleaned up Forest Road 209 in case they need to bring in heavy equipment; completed structure protection around Arrowhead Estates and evaluated and improved established fuel breaks south of P-S in the “rare event” the fire jumps the lines, Pierson said.
The fire is burning near the Arizona Trail in the wilderness area.
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