Dotbug Fire near Florence now 60% contained

Dotbug Fire near Florence now 60% contained

Fire crews have made significant progress in containing the Dotbug Fire, which has been burning near Florence, Arizona. As of now, the fire is 60% contained, thanks to the relentless efforts of firefighters and the use of aerial support. The blaze, which started on Thursday evening, has scorched approximately 149.5 acres of land along State Route 79, about 11 miles south of Florence.

The fire initially caused the closure of State Route 79 northbound at milepost 122 near Cactus Forest. However, the roadway has since been reopened, allowing for the resumption of normal traffic flow. Residents in the vicinity were temporarily placed under SET evacuation orders, but these have now been lifted as the situation has stabilized.

The Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management (AZDFFM) has indicated that the fire was likely ignited by something dragging from a vehicle traveling on State Route 79. While the exact nature of the vehicle and the object that caused the fire are still under investigation, AZDFFM is urging drivers to take precautions to prevent such incidents. This includes securing tow chains, ensuring vehicles are in good condition, and avoiding parking on dry vegetation.

Firefighters have been working tirelessly to contain the blaze, utilizing two single-engine air tankers, three engines, and three hand crews. Their efforts have been successful in halting the forward progress of the fire, and they are now focused on “mopping up” operations to ensure that any remaining hotspots are extinguished.

The Dotbug Fire is a stark reminder of the importance of fire safety, especially as temperatures begin to rise. The AZDFFM has provided several tips for preventing wildfires, including ensuring campfires are completely extinguished, avoiding the use of chainsaws or welding equipment on high fire danger days, and using proper burn barrels for debris. Additionally, drivers are advised not to throw cigarette butts out of car windows, check tire pressure, and avoid parking on dry grass or brush.

For those traveling during the Memorial Day weekend, it is crucial to be aware of fire restrictions and to take necessary precautions to prevent wildfires. This includes putting out campfires completely and checking for any fire restrictions in the area.

The AZDFFM also offers a mobile app that alerts users when a wildfire is in their vicinity. This app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and provides real-time updates on wildfire activity.

In addition to these preventive measures, homeowners can take steps to protect their properties from wildfires. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) recommends keeping roofs and gutters clear of dead leaves and debris, repairing any loose or missing shingles, and installing metal mesh screening to reduce the risk of embers entering the home. Other suggestions include cleaning debris from attic vents, repairing or replacing damaged window screens, and moving flammable materials away from exterior walls.

The NFPA also advises maintaining lawns and native grasses at a height of four inches or less, keeping at least eight feet of space between trees, and using fire-resistant construction materials for homes. Practicing an emergency action plan with all household members is also crucial in case of a wildfire.

The ‘Ready, Set, Go’ evacuation method is used to inform residents of the need to evacuate due to a wildfire. A ‘Ready’ alert means being aware of potential hazards and having an emergency kit prepared. A ‘Set’ alert suggests considering voluntary evacuation, while a ‘Go’ alert indicates the need for immediate evacuation.

The Dotbug Fire is just one of several fires that have occurred in the area recently. On Wednesday, another fire was reported near Pinebrook and Dogwood roads in the Cactus Forest area, about six miles south of Florence. This fire was contained at eight acres within 90 minutes of its start.

As fire crews continue to monitor and manage the Dotbug Fire, residents are encouraged to stay informed and take necessary precautions to ensure their safety and the safety of their communities. The efforts of the firefighters and the cooperation of the public are crucial in preventing the spread of wildfires and minimizing their impact.

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