Residents of Sunflower have been told to evacuate and are now in “go” status, and visitors and residents at Apache Lake were asked to leave the area Tuesday afternoon. Residents of Jakes Corner remain in “set” Status.
Evacuations: The following communities have been evacuated: Tonto Basin, Punkin Center, Sunflower, and residents and visitors to Apache Lake. Jake’s Corner remains in ‘Set’ status on the Ready, Set, Go evacuation model. No other areas are under evacuation notices at this time. The American Red Cross has set up evacuation centers at the Payson Police Department 303 N. Beeline Hwy, Payson, AZ and at Lee Kornegay Intermediate School at 4635 Railroad Ave, Miami, AZ 85539. Follow the American Red Cross on Twitter @RedCrossAZ. Evacuation details and information on how to sign up for emergency alerts can be found at the county websites below.
Maricopa County Evacuation Information: https://www.maricopa.gov/999/Emergency-Management
Gila County visit http://www.readygila.com/
Fire activity: No structures have been damaged and no injuries have been reported. As predicted, 15-30 mile per hour winds from the southwest pushed the Bush Fire northeast yesterday and the fire remained active overnight. The fire is within ¾ of a mile of Highway 188 north of the 3-Bar cabin and Forest Road 445 and approximately seven miles from Hwy 88. To the south the fire is starting to come out of Cottonwood Canyon backing towards Saguaro Lake. Fire fighters expect fire behavior to increase this morning starting after 10 am. Fire personnel worked on structure protection in the Sunflower, Punkin Center, Tonto Basin and Jake’s Corner communities. Crews are also prepped areas for burnout operations and focused attention on critical infrastructure like State Highways 87 and 188, communication sites and powerlines.
Smoke: A more southwest wind will push afternoon smoke further east, away from Payson, and more likely impact Pleasant Valley, Heber-Overgaard, and drift over the four corners region. A smoke monitor was installed yesterday in Fountain Hills, with plans to install one in Heber-Overgaard and Winslow. As the fire continues to move toward the northeast, the chance of smoke draining back into the Fountain Hills and Scottsdale area overnight will decrease. A full smoke report is available through https://fires.airfire.org/outlooks/CentralArizona.
Safety: Please avoid areas where firefighters are working and allow them to concentrate their efforts on building fireline to contain the Bush Fire.
Weather: Hot and dry weather will continue with relative humidity dipping below 10 percent. Winds are expected to be 15 to 20 miles per hour this afternoon and 10 to 15 miles per hour tomorrow.
Values: Fire fighter and public safety are the highest priorities on the Bush Fire. The fire area includes multiple communities, state highways, communication sites and power lines which firefighters are working hard to protect.
Road and Area Closures: State Route (SR) 87, Beeline Highway, is closed from Payson to Bush Highway. SR 188 is closed between SR 87 to the east side of SR 88, Apache Trail, near the Ranger Station office in Roosevelt. In addition, state route 88 is closed between Apache Lake and SR 188. The long-term SR 88 closure from east of Tortilla Flat to Apache Lake also remains in effect. This means drivers may not travel east of Tortilla Flat right now on SR 88. Please visit https://az511.com/ for current information about highway closures.
Recreation Closures and Fire Restrictions: An area closure surrounding the Bush Fire is in place. The order and map of the closed area is available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/tonto/alerts-notices/?aid=59474. Fire restrictions are in effect across the Tonto National Forest. View the details at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/tonto/alerts-notices.
Live Facebook Event: A virtual community meeting will be hosted on Facebook Live with members from the Tonto National Forest, Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, and Incident Command Team members will be held on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, at 5:30 pm, on the Bush Fire Info Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/bushfireinfo.
Location: 22 miles NE of Mesa, AZ
Start date: Saturday, June 13, 2020
Size: 89,059 acres
Percent containment: 5%
Vegetation: Tall grass and brush
Bush Fire InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6773/