ARIZONA NEWS

See smoke plumes from Woodbury Fire near Phoenix on satellite image

Jun 18, 2019, 7:00 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2019, 9:04 am

PHOENIX – Containment was reported in the Woodbury Fire for the first time Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean the blaze east of the Phoenix area wasn’t making a mark.

The National Weather Service in Phoenix tweeted a satellite GIF that shows smoke from the blaze pumping into the sky northwest of Globe.

The smoke was clearly distinct from the clouds seen moving across the area.

The agency also pointed out that while the fire had spread beyond 40,000 acres, it was nowhere near the size of Arizona’s largest wildland fires.

The Woodbury Fire was just a speck compared to the Wallow Fire, which consumed more than 522,000 acres in 2011, as shown in a tweet.

In a Tuesday evening update, authorities reported 15% containment of the Woodbury Fire, which started June 8 and is believed to be human-caused.

The containment occurred on the southern portion of the fire.

More than 700 firefighters were assigned to fight the blaze with a focus along the southern and western flanks to protect Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, and Queen Valley.

They were also protecting the Reavis Ranch apple orchard and a nearby Mexican spotted owl habitat.

A 40-mile stretch of State Route 88 between Apache Junction and Roosevelt Lake has been closed since Friday 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.

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.

Despite the fire and road closure, the Lower Salt River, Saguaro Lake, Roosevelt Lake, Bartlett Lake, Tonto National Monument Visitor Center, Lost Dutchman State Park and Oak Flat Campground all remained open, and there haven’t been any evacuations ordered.

On Saturday, the U.S. Forest Service implemented fire restrictions for the entire Tonto National Forest until the Woodbury Fire is no longer a threat.

The restrictions include fires, campfires or charcoal-burning devices outside campsites’ metal fire rings and pedestal grills, the Forest Service said in a press release.

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See smoke plumes from Woodbury Fire near Phoenix on satellite image