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New team takes over remaining work on Woodbury Fire; 80% contained

(Twitter Photo/@AZFireAuthority)

PHOENIX – As firefighters gained more control of the Woodbury Fire, management of the forest blaze near Phoenix changed hands heading into the weekend.

The Type 1 management team handed over operations of the 123,825-acre wildfire to a Type 3 group on early Friday.

The fifth-largest fire in state history jumped to 80% contained, according to a Sunday evening update.

A Thursday morning update had the fire 53% contained.

“The smoke people are seeing is inside the perimeter,” Southwest Incident Management Team spokeswoman Judith Dyess told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

“It’s not growing a whole lot,” she said.

More personnel have been pulled off duty – 503 were left to handle suppression work, down from 930 earlier this week.

Crews nearly doubled containment at Tonto National Forest between late Sunday, June 23 and early Monday, June 24, from 25% to 48%.

Dyess called the shift in management personnel “right-sizing” the operation, as containment increased.

Type 3 teams handle smaller groups and less complex situations, which is the level of the fire now.

A Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team consisting of hydrologists, soil scientists, and other resources is now in place.

The fire was projected to be fully contained July 15.

Firefighters have managed to keep the burning from crossing State Route 188.

State Route 88 remained shut down from Tortilla Flat to Highway 188.

Residents in the Roosevelt Lake area, who had been ordered to leave their homes as a precaution, were allowed to return Tuesday.

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.

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