Firefighters continue a strategic response to address areas of concern on the most active portions of the fire. This requires implementing a variety of firefighting tactics commensurate with steep, rugged terrain, wilderness values and extreme fire behavior. Firefighter and public safety is our first priority. West of the fire lies the Sonoran Desert which is a valued ecosystem and firefighters will continue work to slow the fire’s spread to the west. On the north end of the fire, values at risk include private property and infrastructure including highways, roads, powerlines and structures. This is also a popular recreation area for visitors. To address concerns related to public and firefighter safety, some closures are in effect. Firefighters are using fire to conduct burnout operations which will stop the spread of the wildfire to the north. The plan for today is to continue with burnout operations from Tortilla Flat west to Mesquite Flat, south of State Highway 88. Burnout operations will be conducted during brief periods (afternoon into evening), and will result increased smoke emissions for a short duration. The fuel type on the east side of the fire is primarily brush, which is slowly carrying the fire towards the east. Firefighters are assessing opportunities to construct fire breaks outside of the wilderness boundary. Firefighters continue to secure the southern portion of the fire where fire behavior has moderated significantly over the past two days.
There are no threats to the communities of Queen Valley Estates, Gold Canyon, Kings Ranch, Superior, and Apache Junction. Firefighting efforts on the north end of the fire will concentrate on protecting campgrounds, infrastructure, powerlines, and businesses along State Highway 88.
Closures: State Highway 88 from Needle Vista east to the junction of State Highway 88 and State Highway 188. The closure includes: Tortilla Flat, Canyon Lake, Apache Lake, and campsites along State Highway 88 within the road closure area. The following areas remain open and accessible to the public: Lower Salt River, Saguaro Lake, Roosevelt Lake, Bartlett Lake, and Tonto National Monument Visitor Center.