Fire East Of Payson Mostly Contained

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Rim Country residents may have noticed smoke on the horizon to the east, beginning Tuesday. The fire causing it was, as of Wednesday evening, 80 percent contained.

Officials expected full containment by today, Friday.

The Vincent Fire has scorched more than 250 acres in an area about 11 miles northwest of Forest Lakes Estates and about 22 miles west of Heber.

It is burning on the Apache-Sitgreaves Forest and was human-caused.

A total of 142 fire personnel are involved in the effort, including two dozers, three water tenders and 10 engines.

Travel along Forest Road 34 near the fire is not recommended.

No evacuations have been issued and no structures have been destroyed.

Fire restrictions will begin this morning for most of the Sitgreaves National Forest.

All national forest lands west of Forest Road 224 near McNary, Ariz., will be affected.

Campfires and charcoal burning devices will only be allowed in designated campgrounds.

Smoking will be permitted only in designated areas or in vehicles or enclosed buildings. Firearm usage will only be allowed in authorized areas.

Holiday weekend spared a major fire

A fire south of the Mazatzal Casino and north of Round Valley was contained at five-acres on Monday.

The cause of the Round Fire was unknown and still under investigation as of three days post-containment, said fire prevention officer Gary Roberts.

"We have no idea what caused it," he said.

The fire was reported around 1 p.m. Monday. The Payson Fire Department, along with wildland firefighters, a large water tanker and three other helicopters aided in the fire containment effort, Roberts said.

Roberts said holiday weekend was relatively safe on the Payson Ranger District's more than 450,000 acres, despite the small fire.

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