Woodbury Fire causes road closure northeast of Apache Junction
PHOENIX – The Woodbury Fire has more than doubled in size since Friday morning and is still 0% contained, according to authorities.
A release on Saturday said that a “dryline” weather event caused the fire to grow to 25,893 acres, although firefighters were able to keep the fire south of State Route 88.
The release said that the Roosevelt Baptist Church will host a community meeting regarding the spread of the fire on Sunday at 2:00 p.m.
A 40-mile stretch of S.R. 88 between Apache Junction and Roosevelt Lake will remain closed in both directions Saturday as a result of the fire.
The road is closed from Weavers Needle Vista Viewpoint, 2 miles northeast of Apache Junction, to S.R. 188, which runs along the west side of the lake, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
ADOT said an extended closure was possible and suggested two detours for anybody heading from the Valley to Roosevelt Lake.
Motorists can take U.S. 60 east to the Globe area and head north on S.R. 188 or take S.R. 87 north to 188 and head south to the lake.
The closure includes the section of S.R. 88, also known as Apache Trail, that runs past Canyon and Apache lakes and through Tortilla Flat.
The human-caused Woodbury fire started in the Tonto National Forest about 5 miles northwest of Superior on June 8 and had consumed more than 12,000 acres, with 0% containment, as of Friday morning.
“The incident commanders will not call any portion of the edge of the fire contained unless or until it is absolutely cold and there is no chance of it spreading over the containment line,” Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Pamela Mathis told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday.
She added that the containment percentage is expected to start rising in the coming days.
More than 600 firefighters were working to battle the blaze as winds picked up Friday in the direction of S.R. 88. No structures were threatened and no evacuations had been ordered.
Manny Cordova, a spokesman for the federal Type 1 Southwest Area Incident Management Team, told KTAR News 92.3 FM the fire is creating a lot of smoke but was confined to a wilderness area.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Amy Phol and Jim Cross contributed to this report.