Home News Local News Rain helps in fight against Three Rivers Fire

Rain helps in fight against Three Rivers Fire

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Rain showers Wednesday night and throughout the day Thursday helped slow the pace of the Three Rivers Fire in the White Mountain Wilderness area.

“Increased moisture and humidity have slowed spread through grasses; dead and downed fuel is currently smoldering,” read a message on the Three Rivers Fire Facebook at about noon Thursday.

The fire, as of Thursday afternoon, remained at 12,000 acres and 5% contained. That acreage, according to the Facebook post, includes hot spots that are separate from the main burned area.

However, the post states, the risk of increased fire spread is expected to rise Saturday with the return of warmer weather.

Crews spent much of Thursday working to reach areas, shore up their containment lines and examine how to protect property northeast of the fire perimeter. According to the Facebook post, this includes infrastructure in the Ski Apache and Lookout Mountain areas.

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Loretta Benavidez, public information officer for the Southwest Incident Management Team, which is in charge of the fire response, said shoring up those lines could help boost containment levels and spare property from the blaze.

Crews have struggled to reach some areas due to the rough terrain.

Thursday marked the fourth day of the fire, which began Monday morning a half mile north of the Three Rivers Campground, expanding in size from 30 to 4,000 acres Monday.

Tuesday the fire grew to 12,000 acres and has remained at that size.

No fatalities, injuries or burned structures have been reported in connection with the fire, Benavidez said.

Road closures remain in place for the section of Bonito Canyon Road past the Bonito Lake Dam, the Nogal Canyon Road past the Nogal Peak Trailhead, the Three Rivers Trailhead and Campground and the Monjeau Lookout at Sierra Vista.

Evacuation notices for residents in several evacuated areas near the fire have since been lifted, but Benavidez cautioned residents to be vigilant and remain prepared in the event they are once again forced to leave their homes.

The notices, she said, can be put back into effect with little advance warning should fire activity in those areas grow.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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