ARIZONA NEWS

Active wildfires east of metro Phoenix have burned nearly 140K acres

Aug 31, 2020, 6:00 PM
Hidden Fire (InciWeb Photo)...
Hidden Fire (InciWeb Photo)
(InciWeb Photo)

PHOENIX — Eight active wildfires continue to burn east of metro Phoenix, consuming nearly a combined 140,000 acres between them.

At least 139,233 acres have been burned due to the eight flames.

The largest of the eight is the lightning-caused Griffin Fire, which started Aug. 17. It had consumed 61,377 acres and was 77% contained as of Monday. The eastbound lanes of U.S. 60 between mileposts 251 and 318 in Globe have reopened.

North of Globe, the Salt Fire had burned 21,670 acres and was 71% contained as of Saturday.

The Rockhouse Fire is the next-largest blaze and was also caused by lightning on Aug. 21. The flame had consumed 19,440 acres and was 0% contained as of Monday.

The Superstition Fire had burned 9,539 and was at 58% containment as of Monday’s update. Eastbound State Route 88 from northeast of Apache Junction to the Apache Lake has been reopened.

Another lightning-caused fire north of Globe is the Medicine Fire which sparked on Aug. 22. As of Monday, the fire had consumed 8,930 acres and was 80% contained.

The Hidden Fire — which had burned 4,605 acres since igniting due to lightning on Aug. 25 — was only at 2% containment as of Monday, but officials said the recent rainfall helped limit the flame’s spread.

As of Monday evening’s update, the Juniper Fire in east Arizona had burned 2,963 and was 36% contained.

North of Phoenix on the Cave Creek Ranger District, the Bolt Fire had consumed 1,420 acres and was at 50% containment as of Monday after igniting on Aug. 28.

Over 800,000 acres have been destroyed by wildfires in Arizona this year. Wildfire activity usually burns out by July because of seasonal monsoon rainfall, but those storms have largely failed to materialize.

The state’s record for acres burned in a single year is 1.1 million in 2011 when the Wallow Fire scorched over 500,000 acres and the Horseshoe 2 Fire consumed 222,000 acres.

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Active wildfires east of metro Phoenix have burned nearly 140K acres