Bush Fire Grows to 89,059+ Acres
PAYSON, AZ 6/17/2020, 7:11:39 AM
Due to the fire’s growth and movement Emergency Management Services in Gila and Maricopa counties are evacuating the communities of Apache Lake, Sunflower, Punkin Center and Tonto Basin. Residents and visitors should evacuate now. Persons who are in the area for recreational activities should return to their homes immediately. Those residents who live in the area of Apache Lake should travel towards Miami-Globe.
The fire started on 6/13/20 at 2:00 pm near the intersection of Bush Hwy and Hwy 87. The fire is human-caused possibly a car fire, but remains under investigation.
State Highway 87 is closed from near Payson to the Bush Highway. Highway 188 is closed from Highway 60 near Claypool to Highway 87. The best place to get road information is at www.az511.com. The Sugarloaf, Four Peaks, Lower Sycamore, Pobrecito, Butcher Jones, the Rolls, Saguaro Del Norte Recreation Areas and Suguaro Lake are all closed at this time.
Hot and dry conditions, coupled with increased winds continue to push the fire to the N, NE, and SE. An abundance of invasive grasses in the desert ecosystem, native grasses and low fuel moisture in the live plants continue to produce extreme fire behavior.
Hot, dry, and windy conditions are expected to remain over the next week to week and a half and are contributing to extended burn periods, continuous fire activity overnight is now 89,059 acres with 5% containment.
The fire is expected to push east toward HWY 188 and Roosevelt Lake. Continued growth is expected along the entire south flank. Fire fighters hope to contain the fire west of Hwy 188, east of State Hwy 87.
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