Bylas wildfire prompts some evacuations, inundates Gila Valley with smoke

Salt Fire has burned more than 800 acres

Photo By T-boyd Hinton: A wildfire in Bylas produces thick smoke that rises up behind this residence.

Staff Reports

BYLAS – A wildfire near the Gila River in Bylas has prompted officials to evacuate some nearby residences and had inundated the Gila Valley with smoke.

The wildfire has been dubbed the “Salt Fire” and has reportedly burned more than 800 acres. There have not been any injuries, however, burned structures have been reported.

The San Carlos Apache Forest Rescue Resources Program was the initial primary firefighting agency, however, the Bureau of Land Management is also on scene along with the Fort Thomas Fire Department and Pima Fire Department.  

Photo By San Carlos Apache Forest Resources Program – Forestry: Smoke billows from a wildfire near Bylas.

Fire trucks from both the Fort Thomas Fire Department and Pima Fire Department were dispatched to the area and were staged off the reservation ready to assist as the blaze moves east. The Pima truck left for the area at about 3:15 p.m. as the fire headed toward the Fort Thomas area.

The brush fire has grown since early in the afternoon, fed by blustery winds, and has traveled in an easterly direction toward Fort Thomas. U.S. Highway 70 was closed for a short time around 3:30 p.m. near Goodwin Wash Road in the Geronimo area but appears to have reopened.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.