Newspaper Archive of
The Superior Sun
Kearny, Arizona
July 10, 2013     The Superior Sun
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July 10, 2013

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PAGE 8 SUPERIOR SUN, SUPERIOR, ARIZONA JULY 10, 2013 town c By Mila Besich Lira Monday evening about 5 p.m. a lightning-caused fire forced evacuations for many residents of Kearny. The fire began near the Gila River which has been dry for several weeks. Those dry conditions helped the fire to spread quickly, advancing towards the Town of Kearny. Pinal County Sheriff's Office assisted the Kearny Police Department with notifying residents of the evacuations. The evacuation of the Steven's Trailer park is still in effect and further evacuations have not been ordered. In early reports it was said that the fire had spread to 200 acre. However by Tuesday morning the State Forester had reported that the fire had only spread to close to 100 acres and at press time the fire was only actively burning on five acres. Twenty fire agencies were on hand to assist with the blaze overnight. The State Forester also ordered a type 2 command team and an air tanker to help combat the blaze. Those crews were expected to arrive at the fire Tuesday morning. Once the Type Two Command team is in place they will take over command of the fire. Pinal County Animal Care & Control mobilized its emergency response trailer, which includes kennel space for dogs and cats whose owners may be seeking shelter. Livestock - affected by the fire or smoke are being cared for by neighboring ranchers. On Tuesday afternoon the fire advanced and burned the power lines between Kearny and Hayden. Due to the power outage the Hayden Town Hall was closed. At press time it was unknown when the power would be turned back on. Sometimes oil It tokes Is someone to help you see It, vldl Improving Lives. One residence and an out building were burned in the blaze. Thankfully there have been no reports of casualties or injuries. Cell phone communication also remains limited due to damage of the Verizon Tower near Kearny. The crews at the Copper Basin Railway also worked through the night to keep the tracks and land around the rail road wet. Highway 177 was closed for a while on Monday mght but opened with the use of pilot cars around midnight. The Highway closed again Tuesday after the fire blazed up a second time. The American Red Cross opened a shelter for those who were evacuated at *the Ray Elementary School. The shelter did not officially open until 1 a.m., it took a while to get volunteers staffed at the Red Cross Shelter because a large number of volunteers are still assisting with the Yarnell Hill and Dean Peak Fires. State Senator Barbara McGuire, a Kearny resident, has maintained contact with Pinal County Emergency Management since the fire began. "I want to commend all the first responders who are on scene here. Fire crews fi:om Kearny, Hayden, Winkelman, Dudleyville, Globe, Superior, the state forest crews, County Sheriff's office and the Red Cross are here working hard. Helicopters are also on scene dropping water on the advancing fire. It is very unnerving because the fire is so near my home but I am putting my faith in knowing that these crews are doing all they can." Supervisor Pete Rios has also visited the evacuation center through the early morning hours. "Agencies and first responders have trained for many years for just this type of scenario, Although wildfire response resources are stretched thin across the west, I have been impressed with the response to the Shipman Fire so far," Rios said. "This is a beautiful but vulnerable part of Pinal County and I pray that we can keep the property and vegetation loss to a minimum." Pinal County Public Health officials recommend that people who have respiratory difficulty, asthma or other lung conditions remain indoors and take every effort possible to avoid the smoke. People with swamp coolers should limit their use to avoid bringing smoky air into their homes or businesses. Go online to http://bit. ly/1 alrLdY to view photos of the fire taken by Copper Basin News staffand others in the community. Visit us on Facebook for the most up-to-date information on the fire: copperarea.