Multiple buildings destroyed, but containment grows on Rose Fire near Wickenburg

Jun 13, 2024, 7:20 AM | Updated: Jun 15, 2024, 5:57 pm

PHOENIX – More than a dozen buildings have been destroyed as firefighters make progress on the Rose Fire near Wickenburg, authorities said Thursday.

The wildfire burned 15 structures – seven of which were primary residences – as well as twelve vehicles, a horse trailer and a recreational vehicle, according to the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management (ADFFM).

Aerial mapping Saturday showed the fire at 166 acres with 90% containment.

US 60, which was closed in both directions near Wickenburg on Wednesday, reopened Thursday afternoon. Evacuation orders in the area were lifted earlier Thursday.

US 60 is a primary route between metro Phoenix and Las Vegas.

Residents of the Rio Vista Hills community and homes between mileposts 113 and 118 were told to evacuate around 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, according to county officials. They were allowed to return home at 10:40 a.m. Thursday.

When did Arizona’s Rose Fire start?

The fire ignited Wednesday afternoon around 60 miles outside of downtown Phoenix at milepost 115. The blaze burned between Wickenburg and the junction of US 60 and State Route 74.

“It is human-caused, and it is under investigation,” ADFFM’s Tiffany Davila told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday morning.

There have been 642 wildfires in Arizona this year, with 622 classified as human-caused, she added.

Federal funds to help Arizona firefighters

Arizona officials asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for a grant to help fight the fire on Wednesday night.

FEMA authorized the use of federal funds through a Fire Management Assistance Grant, also known as a FMAG, that same night.

The Rose Fire burning in Maricopa County threatens multiple state assets in addition to private homes, FEMA said. That includes:

  • A yard operated by the Arizona Department of Corrections.
  • Transition and distribution lines.
  • The Hassayampa River Preserve in the area.
  • A Department of Public Safety highway patrol station.

“There are six other large fires burning uncontrolled within the state,” FEMA said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross contributed to this report.

This is an updated version of a story originally published on June 12, 2024.

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Multiple buildings destroyed, but containment grows on Rose Fire near Wickenburg