ARIZONA NEWS

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. 

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