A lightning-caused fire churning through heavy brush in the dry Gila River bed southwest of Phoenix skirted underneath one of the containment lines Friday, authorities said.
The result was even more black smoke visible across much of the metropolitan Phoenix area for another day.
Gila River Fire Department deputy chief Dave Martin said cooler morning weather and calm winds had slowed the fire’s advance but a change of wind direction Friday afternoon allowed flames to take a run through a spot in a containment line.
About 150 firefighters were working the fire Friday with bulldozers and hand crews trying to complete the containment line and retardant drops from aircraft attempting to slow the blaze.
The fire has burned an estimated 1,200 to 1,300 acres of salt cedar and mesquite in the river bottom since it was sparked by a lightning strike on Wednesday.
Martin said there was no immediate estimate for containment. “It’s still too early,” he said.
No homes are threatened and no injuries have been reported.
About a dozen people heeded calls to voluntarily evacuate Wednesday but were returning to their homes Friday after the fire danger passed.
Martin said an equal number of residents have now been asked to leave the area.