Lightning-Caused Fire Contained

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A lightning-caused forest fire that broke out east of Payson Sunday night was contained at 5 acres Tuesday.

Firefighters continued mopping up the fire, which was located near Paiute Draw Road (FR198) off Houston Mesa Road, throughout the day Wednesday.

"It was way too remote and there was nothing really close by it," Dan Smith, law enforcement officer for the Tonto National Forest, said. "They had to really beat the brush to get in close."

The smoke in the southeastern skies earlier this week was from a prescribed burn in the Pleasant Valley area, according to District Ranger Ed Armenta of the Tonto National Forest Payson office.

He said his staff is not planning any prescribed burns at this time, but may do some maintenance burns. These are conducted in areas where prescribed burns have been held in recent years and the fuel load is low, so the risk is minimal.

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