Woodbury Fire ‘very active’ overnight; high winds complicating effort

Jun 20, 2019, 9:18 AM | Updated: 2:18 pm

(Twitter Photo/@TontoForest)...

(Twitter Photo/@TontoForest)

(Twitter Photo/@TontoForest)

PHOENIX — The Woodbury Fire burning in the Superstition Mountains continued to grow Wednesday night into Thursday, stepping up the threat to residents in the area, authorities said.

Dick Fleishman, Southwest Area Type 1 Management Team spokesman, told KTAR News 92.3 FM that the fire was 9 miles away from Roosevelt Lake on Thursday morning, having moved about 2 miles closer overnight.

Joshua Beck, a Gila County spokesman, said around 1 p.m. Thursday that the fire had spread closer to only 7 miles away.

“The next three days are going to really test us. The fire last night was very active in Campaign Creek until 2 to 3 in the morning,” Fleishman said.

“Today’s going to be a pretty interesting day with the expected winds.”

Fleishman said the team conducted a burnout operation at a nearby school to protect it from the human-caused blaze that was a mile away.

The Roosevelt Lake Marina said Wednesday it was closing through at least Friday.

Officials on Thursday afternoon issued an evacuation order for residents in the lake area, urging them to leave the area immediately and call 911 if they are unable to.

A temporary shelter was set up at Lee Kornegay School at 4735 S. Ragus Road in Miami. Livestock were being sheltered at Gila County Fairgrounds.

“As this fire moves out of the wilderness area it’s going to start burning down into grasslands, and grasslands burn very flashy, very fast,” Fleishman said.

“Once it hits that, especially with 20 mph winds, it’s going to push to the east rather rapidly as it gets out of the wilderness.”

Residents can sign up here for emergency notifications from Gila County.

The fire, which broke out June 8 and is now up to nearly 50,500 acres, is 41% contained.

Fleishman said more personnel are coming to the scene, with plans to add a night shift. Nearly 900 firefighters are already assigned to the blaze.

“Lot of challenges for us. Lot of values that we are looking to protect as best we can, but our main concern is firefighter safety,” he said.

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

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.

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.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross contributed to this report. 


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Chandler approved agreements with Recovery Café Arizona and EMPACT-Suicide Prevention Center to pr...

Chandler approves partnerships with nonprofits for opioid treatment, prevention services

The Recovery Café and EMPACT-Suicide Prevention Center (EMPACT-SPC) will each receive $50,000 in opioid treatments and prevention services from the city of Chandler.

2 hours ago

Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers seized over 100 pounds of illegal drugs in two separat...

AZDPS troopers seize over 138 pounds of illegal drugs in southern Arizona

The Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) seized approximately 138.6 pounds of illegal drugs in two separate incidents in southern Arizona.

2 hours ago

The Arizona Legislature finalized the state budget and adjourned June 15, just in time to prevent t...

Sahara Sajjadi /Cronkite News

Arizona Legislature adjourns just in time to prevent repealed 1864 abortion ban from taking effect

A Civil War-era abortion ban repealed in May would have become enforceable on Sept. 26 – temporarily – if the Legislature didn’t adjourn in time.

2 hours ago

The Kaibab National Forest will implement Stage 2 fire restrictions beginning on Friday....

Kaibab National Forest to begin Stage 2 fire restrictions on Friday

The Kaibab National Forest will implement Stage 2 fire restrictions beginning on Friday.

9 hours ago

A motorcyclist died as a result of a three-car crash in Peoria on June 17, 2024. (AP File Photo/Mat...

Motorcyclist dead after 3-car crash in Peoria

A motorcyclist died as a result of a three-car crash in Peoria on Monday afternoon, authorities said.

10 hours ago

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs signed the 2025 fiscal year budget on June 18, 2024. (Photo by Rebecca Nob...

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs signs $16.1 billion budget for 2025 fiscal year

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs signed the fiscal year 2025 budget Tuesday that erases a $1.4 billion shortfall by curbing spending on higher education and more.

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.


Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

Woodbury Fire ‘very active’ overnight; high winds complicating effort