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Evacuations ordered for Bush Fire, as part of State Route 87 remains closed

Twitter Photo/ Tonto National Forest

PHOENIX — The Gila County Sheriff’s Office is evacuating some residents near the Bush Fire, which has closed part of State Route 87.

Residents in the Tonto Basin and Punkin Center from Highway 188 and A-Cross Road to Highway 188 at Rambo Ready should immediately evacuate.

Residents in the Sunflower area near SR 87 were also asked to prepare for evacuation.

As of Monday afternoon, the Bush Fire had burned approximately 37,900 acres in the Tonto National Forest. An update from earlier Monday said the fire had burned 14,300 acres.

The fire is 0% contained and was human-caused, authorities said.

SR 188 is closed from near SR 87 to near SR 88, and SR 87 remains closed from Bush Highway to Payson.

There is no estimated time for reopening the highway.

A Type 2 Southwest Incident Management Team has been assigned to the fire.

Tonto National Forest announced Sunday morning that the recreation sites of Saguaro Lake, Butcher Jones and Pobrecito had also been closed due to the growing blaze.

Lower Sycamore Canyon, Sugarloaf Recreation and Four Peaks Recreation are also closed on Saturday due to the fire.

Smoky conditions were in effect for the Lower Salt area.

As the Bush Fire continued to burn northeast and west of State Route 87 in the Sugarloaf and Four Peaks Recreation areas on Sunday, 11 engines, 3 hotshot crews, 2 helicopters and 1 air attack were working to contain the blaze.

The fire began Saturday night and resulted in the closure of State Route 87 near Fountain Hills, according to Arizona Department of Transportation.

The Bush Fire started at 2 p.m. and had burned 600 acres as of Saturday evening, according to the Tonto National Forest.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup contributed to this report.

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