Fire Near Highway Quickly Controlled

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A small fire broke out about half a mile south of Payson on Highway 87 Friday morning. The blaze was discovered quickly and took only five minutes to control.

The Payson Police Department closed the right lane of the highway heading into town for about 60 minutes.

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Payson firefighters and employees of the U.S. Forest Service check for hot spots after extinguishing a fire Friday morning.

Fire Chief Marty deMasi said the fire, which was on the east side of the highway, was reported at 11:47 a.m. by a motorist.

The blaze, deMasi said, covered about one-fifth of an acre and the U.S. Forest Service and the Payson Fire Department responded.

"We got it under control quickly," the fire chief said, adding that the fire was the result of something that came from the roadway such as a shredded tire or a cigarette.

"Hit it hard, and keep it small," he said of the fire.

The majority of the work, deMasi said was the mop up and clean up of the fire to ensure there were no embers still smoldering.

Several firefighters fanned out to look for embers that could have moved into the nearby pines.

The U.S. Forest Service, deMasi said, had jurisdiction, but added that the two have a cooperative agreement whereby both agencies will respond to emergencies outside their areas.

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