Firefighters make gains on Woodbury Fire as it nears 116,000 acres

Photo By Superstition Fire and Medical District: Smoke from the Woodbury Fire billows from behind the hills surrounding Roosevelt lake.

Now at 48 percent containment; Evacuation order lifted

By Jon Johnson

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

SUPERSTITION MOUNTAINS WILDERNESS – The Woodbury Fire was listed at 115,750 acres as of Tuesday morning, but containment had increased to 48 percent with nearly all new growth occurring on the fire’s north side. The fire is the sixth largest in Arizona history.  

The southwestern side of the fire is out and the southeastern side looks to be following suit. 

According to a morning briefing, most of the new 3,000-acre-growth overnight was in the Yellow Jacket Spring area south of Roosevelt Lake. Crews continue to patrol the Highway 188 corridor to ensure the protection of structures and infrastructure in the Roosevelt area. 

An evacuation order for the area that was initiated last Thursday was lifted by the Gila County Sheriff’s Department Tuesday at about 11 a.m. after firefighters diligently worked to fully secure the northeastern edge of the fire so the evacuation order could be lifted.

Additionally, State Route 188 was fully open from Globe to Payson with temporary speed reductions. SR 88 remained closed from Tortilla Flat to SR 188 at Roosevelt Dam as of late Tuesday morning. 

The human-caused Woodbury Fire began June 8, roughly five miles northeast of Superior and has grown into the sixth-largest wildfire in state history. It is burning interior pockets of vegetation in a mosaic pattern, which increases the smoke that has reached into the Gila Valley for a second day in a row. A total of 930 personnel are currently deployed to the fire and full containment is now estimated for Monday, July 15. 

Current closures: 
Tonto National Forest Fire Area Closure information: https://bit.ly/31O2Ih4 
For current Arizona Department of Transportation information visit: https://az511.gov/

Tonto National Forest Stage 1 Fire Restrictions remain in place.
Tonto National Monument is closed. 

This article was updated at 5:46 p.m. to reflect the evacuation order had been lifted.

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