Mountain Fire in Arizona 50 percent contained

The Mountain Fire is burning at Tonto National Forest in Arizona, forcing the closure of Horseshoe Dam Road and activities, including Bartlett Lake. Photo courtesy National Tonto Forest/Facebook

June 9 (UPI) — A wildfire in Tonto National Forest in Arizona is 50 percent contained.

The Mountain Wildfire is burning near Cave Creek about 90 miles northeast of Phoenix.

“Firefighters continue to make good progress,” according to a Twitter post by the Tonto National Forest. Sunday at 11 a.m. Mountain Standard Time.

InciWeb, an interagency emergency management service, reported at 8 a.m. the fire had consumed 7,260 acres, about the same as Saturday night. On Friday night, it had torched 6,200 acres as it grew quickly because of continuous fuel sources of Sonoran desert grass and brush as well as gusty winds.

On Saturday, strong winds were making it difficult for the 243 personnel to fight the fire.

All day-use areas and campgrounds in the fire area remain closed, including Horseshoe and Bartlett lakes. A mandatory evacuation was ordered Saturday, which was an upgrade from a voluntary Friday.

It is one of the most-visited “urban” forests in the United States with approximately 5.8 million people annually, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Tonto Forest is the fifth largest in the United States with almost 3 million acres that range from Saguaro cactus-studded desert to pine-forested mountains beneath the Mogollon Rim. Its boundaries are Phoenix to the south, the Mogollon Rim to the north and the San Carlos and Fort Apache Indian reservations to the east.


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