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The Backbone Fire Near Strawberry Has Burned Over 40-Thousand Acres

Pic from the U.S. Forest Service - Backbone Fire
Pic from the U.S. Forest Service - Backbone Fire

Firefighters continue to battle the Backbone Fire near Strawberry. The fire has burned over 40-thousand acres and is now one-percent contained with no structures lost. The fire is less than two miles from the town of Strawberry, however fire officials say the risk of fire entering Strawberry is “low,” but if the winds change, then that can change. State Route 260 remains closed from Camp Verde and State Route 87 and from Payson to Lake Mary Road. The communities of Pine, Strawberry and Hunts Ranch remain under “Go” evacuation orders. Fire officials told evacuees Thursday they won’t be able to return home for at least the next week. The area of Verde Lakes and Beasley Flats are in “Ready” status. There is currently no immediate threat to these areas or the town of Camp Verde. An evacuation center is set up at Payson High School at the Dome in Payson, while the livestock evacuation center is at the Payson Event Center. There are nearly 700 firefighters currently battling the Backbone Fire.