Scrabble Fire Contained Tuesday


The Scrabble Fire was one of nearly a dozen fires started by lightning over the weekend in the Tonto National Forest. While it didn't grow much in its three-day reign, the rough terrain it gobbled up posed a problem for fire crews.

The blaze reached about 165 acres near Hardscrabble Road, about 13 miles southwest of Pine, before crews had it contained by Tuesday night.

The lightning-caused fire began Saturday afternoon around 1 p.m. and was burning a mixture of fuels in an area that was so difficult for fire crews to access that smoke jumpers were used for the first time in the Tonto National Forest, according to Steve Webb, manager of the Phoenix Interagency Dispatch Center.

The fire burned a variety of vegetation, including pinyon pine, juniper, brush and grass.

Tammy Pike, Tonto fire information officer, said that less than 50 personnel were used at any given time on the blaze, including one hot shot crew.

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