Bush Fire northeast of Phoenix area nears 187,000 acres, 61% contained

Jun 22, 2020, 9:15 PM | Updated: 10:02 pm
(InciWeb Photo)...
(InciWeb Photo)
(InciWeb Photo)

PHOENIX – The Bush Fire outside of metro Phoenix has grown to nearly 187,000 acres and was 61% contained as of Monday night, fire officials said.

The blaze had been 42% contained Monday morning, according to authorities.

It is the fifth-largest wildfire in Arizona’s history, based on KTAR News 92.3 FM research.

There are currently 587 personnel working to contain the fire, according to InciWeb.

Monday afternoon, Gila County Sheriff J. Adam Sheppard announced in a press release that State Route 188 between State Route 87 and State Route 88 at Roosevelt Dam will open to all traffic in both directions beginning at noon on Tuesday.

Northbound traffic in the area will be restricted to one lane and forest closures will remain in effect.

Evacuation warning levels have also been downgraded.

“‘Set’ notifications for all communities within Gila County have been lifted and should be considered in the ‘Ready’ state of the Ready, Set, Go model,” Sheppard said in the release.

The blaze in the Tonto National Forest has eaten through land around State Route 87 northeast of Mesa and is the largest fire burning in the United States.

On Friday, the Bush Fire took over the No. 5 spot from the Woodbury Fire, which whipped through nearly 124,00 acres in the Superstition Mountains a year ago. That fire, which started June 8, 2019, was not fully contained until mid-July.

The Horseshoe Two Fire, which burned through 222,954 acres in Cochise County in 2011, is No. 4 on the list.

The human-caused Bush blaze was sparked June 13 by a vehicle fire.

The American Red Cross has opened evacuation centers at the Payson Police Department and Lee Kornegay Intermediate School in Miami.

No people or structures have been damaged, according to wildfire updates.

Nearly 850 personnel had been assigned to the fire.

Multiple roads around and through the area are currently closed:

  • State Route 87 between the Bush Highway and Payson.
  • SR 188 between SR 87 and Roosevelt Lake.
  • SR 88 between Apache Lake and SR 188. (The long-term closure of SR 88 east of Tortilla Flat to Apache Lake means vehicles can’t travel east of Tortilla Flat on SR 88).

The following recreation areas in the vicinity also are closed: Sugarloaf, Four Peaks, Lower Sycamore, Pobrecito, Butcher Jones, the Rolls, Saguaro Del Norte Recreation Areas and Saguaro Lake.

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

(Scottsdazzle photo)...

Lineup for Scottsdazzle holiday extravaganza released, set to kick off next month

Scottsdale has released the lineup for its monthlong celebration of the holiday season which is set to get underway in late November.
23 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)...
Danny Shapiro

Services to be held Tuesday for MCSO deputy killed in line of duty

Memorial services will be held Tuesday for a Maricopa County Sheriff's deputy killed in the line of duty earlier this month.
23 hours ago
Rockwell Commander 112, File Image (Wikimedia Commons Photo/FlugKerl2)...
Associated Press

Wreckage of small plane located in southern Arizona; no apparent survivors

The wreckage of a small plane has been located in Pima County and there appears to be no survivors, authorities said Monday.
23 hours ago
Sarah Liguori was appointed to the vacant Arizona House seat for District 28 on Oct. 18, 2021. (sar...
Kevin Stone

Sarah Liguori appointed to fill Arizona House seat for District 28

Sarah Liguori was selected Monday to fill the Arizona House seat for District 28 vacated by Democrat Aaron Lieberman, who resigned last month to focus on his campaign for governor.
23 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/@ArizonaDOT)...

US 60 closed in West Valley because of cement truck fire

U.S. 60 in the West Valley was closed temporarily Monday during the noon hour because of a cement truck fire, authorities said.
23 hours ago
Mary Ann Friesen (Photo via Arizona Department of Public Safety)...

Silver Alert canceled after missing Chandler woman found safe

Authorities canceled a Silver Alert on Monday after a missing Chandler woman was found safe.
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

PNC Bank

3 cool tips to turn everyday moments into learning experiences for your child

Early brain development has a crucial impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. Research has shown that 90% of a child’s brain is developed by age five.
PNC Bank

How one organization supports early childhood literacy for the most vulnerable

Nearly two out of every three children in low-income communities don’t own a single children’s book, a fact that ultimately could have profound impacts even before entering kindergarten, according to Arizona nonprofit Southwest Human Development.
Chris Kennedy

My Special Aflac Duck® taking flight in Arizona

For more than 65 years, Aflac has had the extraordinary opportunity and privilege to help provide peace of mind to individuals who have our supplemental insurance policies.
Bush Fire northeast of Phoenix area nears 187,000 acres, 61% contained