Local agencies tackle two fires along area highways Thursday

Fire officials noted that Thursday's fire along Interstate 17  was extremely challenging even though small in size due to the steep and rocky terrain. (VVN/Vyto Starinskas)

Fire officials noted that Thursday's fire along Interstate 17 was extremely challenging even though small in size due to the steep and rocky terrain. (VVN/Vyto Starinskas)

The experts predicted this would be a busy fire season and it got off to a fast start in the Verde Valley Thursday, the very same day all area agencies enacted Stage 1 fire restrictions.

First, firefighters from the Verde Valley Fire District quickly extinguished a wildland fire along State Route 89A between Cottonwood and Sedona Thursday at 9:30 a.m.

A 10-wheeler truck lost a front wheel causing the truck to drag on the ground and ignite the grass, according to VVFD Deputy Chief Joe Moore. It took about 20 minutes to extinguish the quarter-acre fire, he said.

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VVN/Vyto Starinskas

The truck was never on fire and the driver was not injured, Moore added. It was accidental, he pointed out.

Later, at about 1 p.m., Copper Canyon Fire and Medical Authority was dispatched to a wildland fire on I-17 at milepost 301, according to a news release from CCFMD. Upon arrival, units encountered a fire burning in grass and heavy brush that covered about 1 acre.

Forest Service units were also on scene and the fire was quickly contained by joint efforts from both agencies. Verde Valley Fire District also supplied a water tender and brush truck to the fire and assisted units on scene with extinguishment and overhaul.

According to the news release, the fire was extremely challenging even though small in size due to the steep and rocky terrain.

In all, there were five units from Copper Canyon and Verde Valley Fire and two engines and multiple support personnel from the Forest Service.

The exact cause of the fire was undetermined after investigation.

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