Pius Fire Update

Monday, July 08, 2024
Location of Origin: 20 miles NE of Payson AZ Size: 460 acres
Start Date: July 8, 2024 Percent Contained: 0
Cause: Undetermined Fuels: Ponderosa Pine/Mixed Conifer
Personnel: 76
Resources Assigned: 1 Initial Attack Crew, 4 Helicopters, 4 Engines, 5 Dozers, 1 Water Tender

The Pius fire is located on the Black Mesa Ranger District, and is located southeast of the CC Cragin Reservoir, southwest of Wiggins Crossing, and north of Black Canyon Lake. The fire is currently managed under a Type 3 Incident Command structure with a full suppression strategy. Fire behavior exhibited extreme intensity today and was actively running, crowning to the tops of trees, and spotting ahead of the main fire. As a result of the increased growth and behavioral complexity, the Complex Incident Management Team, Team 1, led by Incident Commander Carl Schwope, will join in a formal in-brief on July 9 regarding the operational status of the Pius fire, and will assume command of the Pius fire at 6 a.m. on July 10, 2024.

Operations: The Pius fire is expected to continue to move to the south and southeast. Firefighting resources will look to establish an anchor point and will be using indirect and direct-attack tactics to establish flanking opportunities along the perimeter when it is safe to do so.

Evacuations: The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office has issued a “GO” status to evacuate immediately for people in and around Bear Canyon Lake and Knoll Lake including the areas north of Forest Road (FR)300, east of FR115, south of FR225, and west of FR34. The public is encouraged to follow the Ready, Set, Go! program to prepare for any threats to their community. Go to https://311info.net/ for accurate and timely status updates.

Smoke: Smoke is expected to impact the communities of Christoper Creek, Payson, Young, Forest Lakes, Heber-Overgaard, and Highway 260. All areas within proximity of the fire can be impacted by smoke, depending on wind directions and ventilation. Go to fire.airnow.gov/ to see the latest smoke conditions in your community.
Values at Risk: KV Powerlines are located roughly 4 miles southeast of the fire and supplies power to the Phoenix Metropolitan area. There are private inholdings in proximity to the fire location. Recreation areas along the Rim Lakes are located roughly 5 miles south of the fire location.

Weather: Hot and dry conditions are expected to continue with highs on July 9 expected to be 94 degrees. The forecast is calling for a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms with winds shifting from the southwest to the northwest at 10-15mph.

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