Promontory Fire Threatens Christopher Creek


Until Monday afternoon, the Promontory Fire near Christopher Creek was growing rapidly, but did not threaten any structures. But Monday, the fire entered the Christopher Creek drainage and now firefighters are working to protect 300 residences, 10 commercial buildings and 50 outbuildings.

Fighting this fire is extremely difficult because of the steep slopes and dense tree cover.

Firefighters plan to hold the fire on top of the Rim by digging lines with bulldozers and by hand on the east side of the Christopher Creek drainage and on the west side of the fire by Promontory Point.

At 10 p.m. Monday night, the Promontory Fire was estimated at 900 acres -- a revised number from an earlier estimate from a fly-over of 1,500 to 2,000 acres.

The fire was human caused, according to Forest Service Public Information Officer Eric Neitzel.

The fire is burning on the Mogollon Rim, about three miles from Bear Canyon Lake and 1.5 miles from Christopher Creek.

The fire started at 4 p.m. Sunday and has not been contained.

Currently, 185 personnel are battling the blaze, including three wildland crews, the Payson Hotshots, and helicopters and air tankers.

The Promontory Fire was spotted about 4:05 p.m. Sunday burning close to the Promontory Lookout, according to the Tonto National Forest Fire Information Office. High winds whipped the fire in all directions and pushed it over the Rim, where terrain is very steep. Smoke has been heavy.

On Sunday night, on the Apache-Sitgreaves side of the fire -- above the Rim -- firefighters did some burn out of the surrounding areas, creating a perimeter to protect private property nearby.

Firefighters are concerned about a large Arizona Public Service power line about 3 miles north of the fire.

Bear Canyon Lake campground and lake access, along with camping near Promontory Butte, are closed until further notice. Woods Canyon Lake and lake access is closed to new entry. All campers have been evacuated. Call the Black Mesa Ranger District for more recreational closure/restrictions at (928) 535-4481

Forest Road 300 is closed to recreational traffic.

For more information about road closures call the Gila County Sheriff's Office at (928) 425-4449 or visit

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