ARIZONA NEWS

Woodbury Fire passes Willow to become state’s 5th largest fire

Jun 25, 2019, 9:30 PM | Updated: Jun 26, 2019, 5:45 am
(Photo Credit: James Stamsek)...
(Photo Credit: James Stamsek)
(Photo Credit: James Stamsek)

PHOENIX — The Woodbury Fire burning east of Phoenix grew to more than 120,000 acres Tuesday evening, becoming the fifth-largest fire in Arizona history.

The fire reached 123,263 acres by early Wednesday, surpassing the 119,500-acre Willow Fire from 2004.

Despite the scope of the fire, Tuesday was a positive day for firefighters.

Containment reached 48% Monday and remained there.

“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.

Evacuees who were displaced by the Woodbury Fire received good news late Tuesday morning: They can go home.

Gila County Sheriff J. Adam Shephard made the announcement at 11 a.m.

An email from the sheriff’s department said there were still active areas within the fire perimeter and smoke would be noticeable for weeks.

Woodbury will have to almost double in size to reach the No. 4 spot in the state. The Horseshoe Two Fire from 2011 burned more than 220,000 acres.

The largest wildfire in Arizona history was the 2011 Wallow Fire, which wiped out more than 500,000 acres.

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(Joe Barreras Photo) (Joe Barreras Photo) (Joe Barreras Photo) (Joe Barreras Photo) (Joe Barreras Photo) (Joe Barreras Photo) (Facebook Photo/Pinetop Fire District) (Twitter Photo/@docbillygoat) (Twitter Photo/@ClaytonCorey) (Twitter Photo/@docbillygoat) (Twitter Photo/@phxbetty) (Twitter Photo/@phxbetty) (Twitter Photo/@SirlinJohn) The Woodbury Fire as seen from along State Route 188 about 7 miles east of Roosevelt on June 20, 2019. (Twitter Photo/@ArizonaDOT) (Twitter Photo/@AZFireAuthority) The Woodbury Fire from the Roosevelt Dam on June 20, 2019. (Photo by Kevin Duby via Twitter/@ArizonaDOT) The Woodbury Fire as seen from milepost 245 on State Route 188 on June 20, 2019. (Photo by Kevin Duby via Twitter/@ArizonaDOT) The Woodbury Fire as seen from milepost 245 on State Route 188 on June 20, 2019. (Photo by Kevin Duby via Twitter/@ArizonaDOT) (Twitter Photo/@TontoForest) (Twitter Photo/@TontoForest) (Twitter Photo/@ArizonaDOT) (Instagram Photo/@una_photobomber) (Twitter Photo/@azstateforestry) (Instagram Photo/@candice.hesson) (Facebook Photo/Daisy Mountain Fire and Medical) (Instagram Photo/@gyroscopic_life) (InciWeb Photo) (InciWeb Photo) (Facebook Photo/Daisy Mountain Fire and Medical) (Facebook Photo/Daisy Mountain Fire and Medical) (Inciweb Photos) (Twitter Photo/@bencarmitchel) (Twitter Photo/@ArizonaDOT) (KTAR News Photo/Tyler Drake) (Twitter Photo/@ArizonaDOT) (Twitter Photo/@MissStef79) (Instagram Photo/@aimeehikes) (Twitter Photo/@TontoForest) June 12 community meeting (Twitter Photo/@PinalCountyOEM) June 12 community meeting (Twitter Photo/@TontoForest) (Facebook Photo/Daisy Mountain Fire and Medical) (KTAR News Photo/Tyler Drake) (KTAR News Photo/Tyler Drake) (KTAR News Photo/Tyler Drake) (InciWeb Photo) (InciWeb Photo) (Twitter Photo/@kelli_marie78) (InciWeb Photo) (Twitter Photo/@TontoForest) (Twitter photo/@geraldferguson)

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Woodbury Fire passes Willow to become state’s 5th largest fire