USA — With the 2011 wildfire season proving to be destructive across Arizona and the Southwestern region of the United States, the Arizona State Forestry Division has mobilized its Arizona All Hazard Incident Management Team to facilitate Initial Attacks on new fire starts.
Our goal is to support all agencies by extinguishing fires as soon as possible. We have established six active task forces, two assigned to the Monument Fire, and four others pre-positioned and staged around Arizona for initial attack, explained Incident Commander Roy Hall. Each task force contains five engines, with up to five firefighters, Initial Attack hand crews consisting of 20 personnel, and one water tender that holds an average of 3,500 gallons.
The Arizona State Forestry Division established a Phoenix command post at 2901 W. Pinnacle Peak Road that incorporates fire dispatch resources of 250 rural Arizona fire departments, state resources from Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, Montana, North Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming, along with federal agencies, including the Bureaus of Land Management and Indian Affairs, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Forest Service.
Many state and federal resources are committed to several large fires, such as the Wallow, Monument, and Horseshoe 2; therefore, the goal of the mission is to get resources positioned to attack new fire starts. In addition to the six task forces now pre-positioned for Initial Attack in Arizona, 23 engines, four water tenders and seven hand crews are deployed and strategically placed across the state to enhance rapid wildland fire fighting response.
To date, a record approximately 1.4 million acres have burned across Texas, New Mexico and Arizona; 733,064 acres within our state. On Saturday, June 18th, Arizona had 20 new fire starts. The task forces were dispatched today to several of these in Cave Creek, Leslie Canyon, and Lake Pleasant Parkway.