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The original item was published from 9/1/2020 7:48:00 AM to 9/1/2020 7:50:31 AM.

News Flash

Town of Fountain Hills News

Posted on: August 22, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Final Update - Lightning Strike Causes Fire in McDowell Mountain Regional Park

Final Update on Fire in McDowell Mountain Regional Park (8/22/2020 9:27PM)

 State Fire has officially declared the fire fully extinguished at McDowell Mountain Regional Park which burned a total of 615 acres. All fire personnel units have been released. McDowell Mountain Regional Park and the mountain preserves in Fountain Hills have reopened.

The Town of Fountain Hills appreciates the concerns of residents about the town not notifying them sooner about the fire. Fire Department management and town management had planned on notifying residents with the Code Red emergency alert system if the fire situation escalated and posed an imminent threat to nearby neighborhoods.  In light of the concerns raised by residents, the Fire Department and town management are committed to being more proactive in the future by notifying residents considerably earlier about such situations.

Update 3 (8/22/2020 1:40PM)

Friday’s overnight cooler temperatures and high humidity were very helpful in slowing any fire growth in McDowell Mountain Regional Park. While the fire is near by, it continues to pose no threat to Fountain Hills.

Today’s fire suppression plans remain the same as reported earlier. Two Type 1 teams are dividing up the fire to strengthen the containment. Scottsdale Fire is providing brush trucks in the neighborhoods on the north. Water tenders are set up in Eagles Nest to fill the helicopter bucket, if needed. The access to the both trailheads, Adero Canyon and Golden Eagle have been closed for public safety. The Scottsdale side of the preserve is also closed. McDowell Mountain Regional Park remains closed.

State Fire has done an outstanding job in protecting major assets such as the Town of Fountain Hills, the communication towers on Thompson Peak, and the Sonoran desert.

Update 2 (8/21/2020 9:00PM)

As of 8:30 pm on Friday, the fire burning in McDowell Mountain Regional Park is now at approximately 500 acres. While the fire is near by, it continues to pose no threat to the Town.

The focus of fire suppression efforts today was on securing the south and west end with fire retardant. Fire personnel on the ground were supported by aerial operations that included two air tankers, two seats (single engine air tanker) and one helicopter. There were also 45 personnel in different capacities. Included in that was one Type 1 Hotshot Crew with expertise in fighting wildfires. Scottsdale Fire provided four Type 6 brush trucks and a water tender on the north end of Town. Maricopa Fire and Queen Valley also provided tenders.

The plan tomorrow is to utilize these same resources in the same manner. An additional Type 1 crew will also be made available from State Fire. The park will remain closed throughout the operation.

This will be the last update for Friday night unless fire conditions change.

Update 1 (8/21/2020 4:00PM) 

As of 3:30 pm on Friday, the fire burning in McDowell Mountain Regional Park appears to be contained within estimated 200 acres. Fire crews from the state have continued to fight the fire and has included aerial support. Despite being approximately a mile and half from the closest boundary to Fountain Hills, the fire appears to be slow burning and staying in place primarily due to cooperative weather conditions and aggressive firefighting.

Original Post

At around 8:30 pm on Thursday, August 20, a lightning strike started a fire in McDowell Mountain Park that has burned approximately 200 acres. The weather cooperated during the night and conditions look good for Friday so far.  The fire is about 1.5 miles from the north Town border. State Fire has multiple jurisdictions providing ground support as well as air support. Work continues to extinguish the fire on the perimeter. 

At this time there is no threat to the Town. In the event that conditions change, the town has an evacuation plan in place for areas in Fountain Hills. The town will be using CodeRed, its emergency notification system, to alert residents if there is a need to evacuate or to inform residents about rapidly changing conditions of this fire. Please click on the following link to subscribe to CodeRed if you are not currently subscribed. 

Residents are encouraged to periodically check back on the town’s website for additional updates.

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