On June 16, 2021, what was to be known as the Backbone Fire sparked near Payson, Arizona, as a consequence of lightning. It was one of the most serious wildfires of the year, as it burnt 40,855 acres and was entirely contained only on July 19, 2021. The fire sparked 12 miles of Strawberry, and it severely affected Yavapai County, Gila County, and Coconino County. Roughly 50% of the soil burnt at high and moderate severity. However, the Backbone Fire spread on steep rocky mountainsides with mixed burn intensities. The wildfire was visible from Camp Verde. Extreme heat and fire conditions were causing the Backbone Fire to burn fast to the north and east, greatly increasing acreage.
Evacuation orders were issued for the Pine and Strawberry communities. Furthermore, State Route 260 was closed between Camp Verde and State Route 87, and State Route 87 was closed north of Payson to Clint's Week. The Fossil Creek recreation area was also closed due to wildfire danger, which included the following regions:
At the most destructive point of the Backbone Fire, there were 630 firefighters striving to extinguish it. The weather caused the fire to grow more than 11,000 acres overnight between June 16 and June 17, as the firefighting crews struggled to find containment locations, according to the incident management team. According to a release of Coconino National Forest, aerial resources were used to support firefighters on the ground and have been very effective in suppressing the fire's growth to the north and east.
Located in Payson, a Boy Scouts of America retreat to Camp Geronimo was cut short during the blaze when scoutmasters received evacuation orders. Consequently, approximately 500 campers, some as young as 11 years old, were able to leave within just one hour, according to Jessica Mitchell, a chaperone at the camp.
The U.S. Forest Service closed the Fossil Creek recreational area in Coconino National Forest after the wildfire was fully contained for the remainder of 2021, as officials were working to assess and repair the damage caused by the Backbone Fire. However, the agency said that the closure, which could potentially extend into the fall of 2022 or later, was prompted by serious concerns of post-fire risks such as debris flows, dead trees, and flash floods. The likelihood for widespread flash flooding in the region would increase over the following days after the fire was extinguished and peak by mid-week, according to Nathan Lynum, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Flagstaff.
The public safety closure order "restricts access of any type - by hike, bike, boat, or vehicle – in areas where risks are most likely to be common," the Forest Service said. Some regions of Fossil Creek situated within the Tonto National Forest, such as the Bob Bear Trail, were also closed to the public. As for the restoration plans, they included clearing the roads, treatments to prevent the spread of invasive species, and placing new signage in the area. The Coconino National Forest will consider reopening the Fossil Creek region to the public "once the elevated post-fire risk to visitors has subsided," according to the Forest Service.
We advise everyone whose health or property has been affected by the Backbone Fire to seek compensation for the losses and damage their insurance policy does not cover, as they were caused by a wildfire – something out of their control. Numerous families had to evacuate their homes, and numerous homes burnt during the wildfire, leaving people with nothing. To be eligible to file a wildfire claim, you must meet one of the following criteria:
By property, we refer to your home, your vehicle, your land, and other things that you might own. It is noteworthy that most insurance policies do not cover vegetation outside of your property, financial compensation for the suffering caused by the wildfire, and natural vegetation, but you can obtain money for these if you file a Backbone Fire claim with the help of our expert team. We will carefully analyze your eligibility, and if you qualify, we will recommend a top-notch attorney.
The expert team of Atraxia Law has been dedicating its endeavors to offering quality assistance to people whose lives or properties have been impacted by natural disasters, including wildfires. If you were injured by the Backbone Fire or if it damaged your home, you should reach out to us, as we have what it takes to speed up the legal process by checking your eligibility. All you have to do is call our team, explain your situation, answer some of our questions, and send us proof of your injuries or property damage.
After a thorough assessment, our professionals will tell you whether you qualify for filing a wildfire claim with your insurance company. If you do, they will quickly guide you toward a specialized attorney who will help you proceed with the legal process. By choosing to file a claim, you have nothing to lose – on the contrary. Filing a wildfire claim is free unless your lawyer obtains money for you, as they work on a contingency fee basis. Lastly, you should get in touch with us as soon as possible, as these claims have a statute of limitations, and you might lose your right to compensation.
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