Forest Energy Fire June 11,2013
Show Low, AZ —Approximately 12:30 pm today numerous agencies were requested to respond to a reported structure fire located at 1001 N. 40th Street in Show Low, AZ. Upon arrival of the first responding fire crews declared this fire to be a working incident and that it was the piles of logs that were burning and not a structure. Initial reports are that the fire started in the engine compartment of an excavator that is used to unload logs from the trucks that bring them in from the forest. However the official cause of the fire is still under investigation.
In the initial stages of this fire there were approximately 28 fire apparatus that were either on scene or en route to the scene to assist with this incident. County, State and Federal resources were also utilized to control the incident. The fire quickly spread to an area behind three nearby propane storage/operation facilities. Several fire crews began immediate efforts to protect the 3 closest large propane storage tanks (approximately 10,000 gallons each) by setting up stationary monitors which sprayed water over these tanks to keep them cool. Several smaller tanks also in the same area heated up beyond the point that the pressure relief valves could contain thus allowing some of these tanks to off gas the remaining propane in these tanks. It did appear that the built in safety devices were effective in not causing these tanks to “BLEVE” (boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion). A Forest Service “SEAT” (single engine air tanker) which is stationed at the Show Low airport was used to drop several loads of fire retardant (slurry) on and near the area of the propane tanks in an effort to control the fire and cool them and allow fire crews to safely operate in the area.
All while these activities were taking place the Show Low Police Department and Navajo County Sheriff's Deputies were evacuating the businesses that were potentially in harm's way. Highway 60 was also shut down from traffic use from the Highway 77 intersection to the Bourden Ranch Road intersection.
No employees or firefighters were injured during this fire. Unconfirmed reports from the staff at the pellet plant advised that approximately 10,000 tons of product (logs) burned in this fire.
Operations to extinguish this fire will continue throughout the night with personnel from the Fire Districts and plant employees this could extend for the next few days.
Brent Mix Captain/PIO Show Low Fire
Kirk Webb Fire Marshal/PIO Lakeside Fire
Top of Page