by Butch Meriwether
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) transferred the Topock Fire incident command over to the US Fish and Wildlife Services (WFS) as a Type 4 Incident Fire on Saturday, April 9, 2016.
A Type 4 Incident Fire is when a few resources of several individuals or a single strike team are utilized to battle the fire that remains.
According to WFS officials in the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge Field Office in Needles, Calif., the fire is now 100 percent contained, however, there are a few hot spots still remaining.
Fighters from Mohave Valley Fire District (MVFD) originally responded at 4:30 a.m., Wednesday, April 6, 2016, to the fire that began between Dike Road and Route 66 in the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge.
The fire ultimately consumed more than 2,200 acres, and because of the complexity, scope and location of the wild land fire, units from Mohave Valley, Fort Mohave Mesa, Pinion Pines, Golden Valley, Golden Shores, Bullhead City, Beaver Dam-Littlefield, Buckskin, San Bernardino County, BLM, Arizona Game and Fish (AZGF), the State of Arizona, U.S. Forest Service and a team of 20 inmates from the Yuma, Ariz. Wild Land Firefighting Unit were called into action to help fight the blaze that spread to both sides of the Colorado River.
Originally called the South Fire by Fort Mohave Mesa Fire District Battalion Chief Kevin Smith who was the first incident commander on scene; the name
was changed to the Topock Fire when the Bureau of Land Management took over operational control of the incident.
There were a total of 165 firefighters and support staff that participated in the Topock Fire that was fueled predominantly by Salt Cedar and Mesquite trees in addition of other river bottom vegetation.
When the BLM, State of Arizona and AZGF arrived on scene, the following incident command units were assigned: AZGF was in charge of the Arizona side, San Bernardino County was in charge of the California side and BLM was the overall fire incident command.
“The National Wildlife and Fish Service turned over the day-to-day responsibility of monitoring and extinguishing the hotspots to us,” said Mohave Valley Fire District Fire Chief Ted Martin. “I estimate that our firefighters will remain on patrol in the area through the end of this week.
“I would like to thank all the government resources that helped extinguished the fire, the community for its support and my department for their efforts in controlling the blaze,” Martin said.