Residents Complain About Smoke From Fires

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Smoke from two fires has combined to create smoky conditions.

The lightning-caused Haigler fire, 25 to 30 miles east of Payson, and the Wilkins fire in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, about 40 miles northeast of town, have converged on the Christopher Creek and Tonto Village areas.

Gary Roberts, Payson Ranger District Fire Prevention Officer said wind patterns have created conditions which have combined the smoke from the two fires.

The Wilkins fire covers about 500 acres and has been burning for about a month and is currently confined to the Leonard Canyon area, Roberts said.

Roberts said the Haigler fire threatens no structures and he is hopeful it can be limited to the Haigler Creek area (see Friday's paper for more details).

"They have a good handle on it right now, there were several crews there Monday as well as a helicopter, two bulldozers and six engines," he said.

Roberts said a lot of the smoke is from burn out operations crews have been conducting to create a 300 to 400 yard firebreak.

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