Crews Encircle Wildfire Northeast of Phoenix

Containment grows around Bush Fire


Looking west from Roosevelt. With some light smoke south of Tonto Basin and Punkin Center.(InciWeb photo)



Firefighters have now encircled three-fifths of a major fire northeast of metro Phoenix and the progress in containing the fire has allowed authorities to lift evacuation notices and to reopen previously closed highways.

Click for InciWeb Update: Bush Fire

The Gila County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday the lifting of evacuation notices for Tonto Basin and several other previously evacuated communities and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday said Sunflower and Apache Lake residents also could return home.

The Tonto Basin post office reopened Tuesday.

The Arizona Department of Transportation said previously closed parts of State Routes 87, 88 and 188 had been reopened.

The 295-square-mile (764-square-kilometer) fire was contained around 61% of its perimeter as of Tuesday, the inter-agency team managing the fire said.

Nearly 600 firefighters and other personnel were assigned to the fire, which was reported 42% contained Monday.

It started June 13 due to a vehicle fire northeast of Mesa

No damage to structures have been reported.

Crews continued to battle large fires elsewhere in Arizona, including north of the Grand Canyon and in the Santa Catalina Mountains overlooking Tucson.

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