Cave Creek Ranger District closed in wake of ‘Wildcat Fire’ containment efforts

May 19, 2024, 8:30 AM | Updated: 3:28 pm

Scottsdale Fire Department was among the groups assisting with "Wildcat Fire" containment over the ...

Scottsdale Fire Department was among the groups assisting with "Wildcat Fire" containment over the weekend. (@ScottsdaleFire/X photo)

(@ScottsdaleFire/X photo)

PHOENIX — The Tonto National Forest issued a monthlong closure of the Cave Creek Ranger District as crews continue to fight the “Wildcat Fire,” officials announced overnight Saturday.

The closure, which covers more than 570,000 acres according to the US Forest Service, is expected to be in effect from 10 p.m. on Saturday through 6 p.m. on June 17.

Officials encouraged Maricopa County residents to sign up for the emergency notification system in case of an evacuation, which can be done here.

They also ask that people don’t use drones for aerial views of the fire, as they can interfere with airborne suppression efforts.

Check here for live updates on closures.

What’s the timeline of the ‘Wildcat Fire’ burning in the Tonto National Forest?

The Tonto National Forest fire was estimated to be 5000 acres as of 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, according to officials. The cause of the fire is under investigation. It was first reported around 9:20 a.m.

The Maricopa County Sherriff’s Office issued a closure for Bartlett Dam Road around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday as the fire was burning on “both sides of the road,” according to officials.

Officials said around 8 p.m. that two hotshot crews, four engines, an air tanker and three helicopters are among the resources provided by nearby departments. Personnel from MCSO, Scottsdale Fire Department and Mesa medical crews were among those also on hand.

As of around 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, the fire was estimated to be 5,000 acres with no word on containment.

As of 11 a.m., the fire is estimated to be 12,100 acres, officials confirmed to KTAR News 92.3 FM. 

Around 3 p.m., forest officials released a detailed recap of containment efforts that noted containment progress was at 0%. Among the resources utilized by crews were two helicopters (one large, one light), seven fire crews, 10 fire engines, one water tender and one medic crew. More resources were en route as well.

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

Arizona voters over 50 general election 2024...

Serena O'Sullivan

Here’s why Arizona’s older voters could tip the scale in the upcoming election

A new AARP survey found Arizona voters over 50 care most about their personal financial situations, Social Security and family caregivers.

1 hour ago

Screenshot from body-worn camera footage of a suspect holding a gun before getting shot by Phoenix ...

Kevin Stone

Body-worn camera footage shows suspect raising gun before Phoenix officers shot him

The Phoenix Police Department released body-worn camera footage from an incident earlier this month where officers shot and killed an armed suspect.

2 hours ago

Newborn hearing screenings, other services bolstered by new grant...

Balin Overstolz McNair

Arizona gets grant to boost variety of services for newborns with hearing loss

A $235,000 dollar grant will help the Arizona Department of Health Services provide newborn hearing screenings and related services.

6 hours ago

The Chandler City Council has approved the city’s 2024-25 Budget and the 2025-2034 Capital Improv...

Bailey Leasure

Chandler City Council approves budget for 2024-25

The Chandler City Council has approved the city’s 2024-25 Budget and the 2025-2034 Capital Improvement Program.

6 hours ago

The Westin Tempe, 11 E 7th St, Tempe, Arizona. (Jim Poulin/Phoenix Business Journal)...

Brandon Brown/Phoenix Business Journal

Tempe Westin owners secure $93M loan extension, keep control of hotel

The owners of the 290-room Westin Tempe have negotiated a significant loan extension and will retain control of the hotel after it faced the risk of being sold at auction.

6 hours ago

The Loop 101 freeway will be closed in both directions near Tatum Boulevard over three nights this ...

Overnight Loop 101 closures near Tatum Boulevard to start Monday

Both directions of the Loop 101 in northeast Phoenix near Tatum Boulevard will be closed three nights for utility work starting Monday.

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

Cave Creek Ranger District closed in wake of ‘Wildcat Fire’ containment efforts