ARIZONA NEWS

Bush Fire surges overnight, nears top 10 for Arizona’s largest wildfires

Jun 16, 2020, 8:15 AM | Updated: 5:59 pm

(Facebook Photo/Bush Fire Info)...

(Facebook Photo/Bush Fire Info)

(Facebook Photo/Bush Fire Info)

PHOENIX – The Bush Fire northeast of metro Phoenix surged overnight and is fast becoming one of the largest wildfires in Arizona history.

The blaze’s footprint in the Tonto National Forest between Fountain Hills and Roosevelt Lake expanded to 64,513 acres with 0% containment by Tuesday morning, according to forest officials, making it the largest current wildfire in the nation.

At 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday, State Route 188 was closed in both directions from State Route 87 to roughly 10 miles east of Roosevelt.

At 3:20 p.m., the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office issued its second evacuation order order of the day for the area of Apache Lake along State Route 87 to the Tonto Basin.

Just before noon, the MCSO issued an evacuation order for residents in the Sunflower area off State Route 87. Sunflower is an unincorporated community about 30 miles northeast of Fountain Hills.

The evacuation route was northbound on SR 87 toward Payson, where the Red Cross was setting up at the Payson Police Department Training Center (303 N. Beeline Highway).

The Red Cross has also set up an evacuation center for people displaced by the fire at Lee Kornegay Intermediate School in Miami.

Tuesday afternoon, the Arizona Department of Transportation announced the fire’s growth had forced the closure of State Route 88 near Apache Lake.

The road was closed in both directions between mileposts 229 and 242 with no estimated time of reopening, according to a press release.

A day earlier, about 1,500 people in Punkin Center and Tonto Basin were evacuated because of the fire, which was reported at 37,000 acres Monday night.

Earlier Monday, the Gila County Sheriff’s Office raised the alert level for residents in Jakes Corner and Sunflower to “set,” the highest level before an evacuation order.

No structure damage has been reported.

The Bush Fire is on the verge of the top 10 for largest wildfires in state history. No. 10 is the Murphy Complex Fire, which consumed 68,078 acres near Rio Rico in 2011, according to KTAR News 92.3 FM research.

State Route 87 (Beeline Highway) remains closed between Payson and the Bush Highway because of the Bush Fire, which was ignited Saturday by a vehicle fire.

In addition, State Route 188 is closed from highways 87 to 88 near Roosevelt Lake.

Recreation areas in the area have also been closed.

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

(Facebook Photo/Tucson Police Department)...

Associated Press

Man already serving life sentence convicted of killing Tucson girl who vanished from parents’ home

A man already serving a life sentence was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder in the killing of another Tucson girl years earlier.

2 hours ago

A suspect who accidentally shot and killed a fellow IRS agent at a federal gun range in Phoenix was...

Danny Shapiro

Suspect indicted on manslaughter charge in death of fellow IRS agent in Phoenix

A suspect who accidentally shot and killed a fellow IRS agent at a federal gun range in Phoenix was indicted on a manslaughter charge, authorities announced Friday.

3 hours ago

Arizona will not approve new housing construction on the fast-growing edges of metro Phoenix that r...

Associated Press

Arizona Senate passes plan to manage rural groundwater, but final success is uncertain

A plan to manage rural groundwater passed the Arizona Senate amid concerns about the availability of sufficient water for future generations.

4 hours ago

...

KTAR Video

Video: A closer look at the alleged cover-up of Preston Lord’s fatal beating

Arizona Republic investigative reporters Robert Anglen and Elena Santa Cruz join guest host Kristin Bentz to further explain the latest developments in the Preston Lord investigation. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

5 hours ago

A sign in front of a building identifies Valleywise Behavioral Health Center – Maryvale in Phoeni...

Kevin Stone

Valleywise Health replenishing mental health care capacity after staffing setback

Valleywise Health is working to replenish its mental health care capacity after cutting back because of staffing shortages in 2022.

5 hours ago

Split image of a Spin e-scooter on the left and the boundary map for Phoenix's Shared Micromobility...

Kevin Stone

Phoenix pilot program allows e-scooter, e-bike and bicycle rentals 24 hours a day

Phoenix is expanding its Shared Micromobility Program on a trial basis, allowing e-bike, e-scooter and bicycle riders to rent and roll all night.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Bush Fire surges overnight, nears top 10 for Arizona’s largest wildfires