Firefighters gain ground on Woodbury Fire as it nears 116,000 acres
PHOENIX – Crews battling the Woodbury Fire are gaining the upper hand, slowing the spread and increasing containment to nearly 50% going into Tuesday, giving evacuees hope of returning home soon.
The fire has burned through 115,720 acres in the Superstition Mountains, but the growth of the sixth-largest fire in state history was less than 3,000 acres overnight.
The fire blazing in the Tonto National Forest was about 7 miles from Roosevelt Lake.
Containment reached 48% Monday. “That is looking really good,” Pamela Mathis, spokeswoman for the fire management team, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
“The southwestern part of the fire is done, the southeastern part … is looking cold,” she said.
Transmission lines that help power Phoenix, mining operations, homes and ranches were much safer now, Mathis said.
Firefighters have managed to keep the burning from jumping across State Route 188. About 930 personnel remained on the job.
Residents who were forced to leave as a precaution could be going back home relatively soon, although there wasn’t a timetable.
Highway 188, which runs along the west side of Roosevelt Lake, has been closed from SR 88 at milepost 244 down to SR 288.
Not everything inside the fire’s perimeter is charred, Mathis said.
“You will see a mosaic, a patchwork, of what was not burned and what is burned,” she said.
The human-caused fire started June 8, about 5 miles northwest of Superior.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross contributed to this report.