CAVE CREEK, AZ — Fire officials say the human-caused fire started
at about 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 17th and spread to the east and northeast toward Cahava Springs near the community of Cave Creek. About 130 homes near Cahava Springs were evacuated overnight.
With strong winds & dry conditions the East Desert Fire began to grow. Additional firefighting resources were ordered Sunday night, including 6 hotshot crews, 10 engines, and aircraft support.
Tanker 912 operated on the East Desert Fire both Sunday and Monday, May 17th/18th. Tanker 910 got in on the action around noon Monday, and with both Tankers operating major progress was able to take place to help ground crews slow movement of the fire.
On Tuesday, May 19th - there was minimal fire activity overnight, the 14,902-acre fire remained at 50% contained. Grass and light brush are providing the main carrier of fire in an almost continuous layer across the landscape. However, a wind event was expected with gusts up to 30 mph at times. Ground crews, and our Tanker crews were prepared to prevent any rate of spread or activity.
In an unexpected turn of events, another
human caused fire had begun that same morning.
The "Peak View Fire" broke out Tuesday morning near 144th Street and Rio Verde Drive, about 10 miles southeast of the East Desert Fire. Though some resources (including air attack) from East Desert Fire did need to be diverted to the new fire, our tankers remain focused on controlling the much larger East Desert Fire. However, thanks to the skilled work of everyone involved in the Peak View Fire, forward progress of the fire was
stopped within a matter of a couple hours.
By 1 p.m Tuesday afternoon 70% of the East Desert Fire had been contained at 1,492 acres. Later that evening Arizona State Forestry had lifted the evacuation orders as long as conditions continued in the right direction.
Our crews continued to work the fire and by 9 a.m the next morning (05/20/20) officials reported 80% of the fire was contained. Ground crews checked for hot spots and continued to secure the fire line. Here is a video taken from one of those crew members of Tanker 912 in action.