Air Assault Tames 1,200-Acre Tee Fire Near Table Mesa

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Forward progression has been stopped on a 1,200-acre wildfire 4 miles southeast of Black Canyon City, officials with the state Department of Forestry said today. A massive DC-10 jet was called in to help suppress the fire in rough terrain.

The Tee Fire started Saturday, June 10th at 7 p.m. near Table Mesa, the flat-top mountain just east of I-17 and north of Phoenix.

Daisy Mountain Fire Department crews, among others, responded to provide initial suppression. The fire burned “in hard-to-access terrain through brush and tall grasses,” the forestry department stated, adding that multiple air resources were called in to help suppress the fire Sunday.

About 100 personnel battled temperatures and gusty winds. The fire’s origin is not known.

There are 30 wildfires burning today in Arizona, according to the state’s Emergency Information Network (AzEIN). So far this year, 858 wildfires have burned more than 130,000 acres across the state.

The Tee Fire fire is one of nearly two dozen so far this year in I-17 corridor from North Phoenix up to the Black Canyon City area — part of what DMFD officials have called the most active local wildfire season in two decades. A wet winter left ample brush that’s now dry, making ideal conditions for fires to spread. Most if not all the fires so far have been human caused, officials say.

Fire experts have repeatedly pleaded with residents in recent weeks to be cautious about any recreational activity in the wildlands, including shooting — thought to be a main cause of fires this year.

“Make sure campfires are completely out before walking away, never drag tow chains, and never pull off the side of the road in tall grasses,” the AzEIN said in a statement today.

tee fire
The Tee Fire near Table Mesa north of Phoenix. Photo courtesy DMFD
The Tee Fire overnight June 10/11. Photo courtesy AZ Dept. of Forestry
DC-10 tee fire
A DC-10 jet dropped fire retardant on the Tee Fire Sunday. Image: Screen grab of AZ Dept. of Forestry video

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Robert Roy Britt
NoPho resident Robert Roy Britt has written for In&Out publications since its inception in 2005. Britt began his journalism career in New Jersey newspapers in the early 1990s. He later became a science writer and was editor-in-chief of the online media sites Space.com and Live Science. He has written four novels. Email the author.
Robert Roy Britt on Email

Robert Roy Britt

NoPho resident Robert Roy Britt has written for In&Out publications since its inception in 2005. Britt began his journalism career in New Jersey newspapers in the early 1990s. He later became a science writer and was editor-in-chief of the online media sites Space.com and Live Science. He has written four novels. Email the author.

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