Fire Near Fish Hatchery Cools Overnight

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Fire officials say a forest fire burning just a few miles from the Tonto Fish Hatchery calmed down overnight.

The Big Canyon Fire burned through more than a 100 acres Sunday, the same day it was spotted just off the Highline Trail.

On Monday, Christopher-Kohl’s Fire Chief Rob Jarvis said the fire is only a mile from the Zane Grey Estates cabin community, but has not gotten any closer.

“It is looking pretty good this morning,” Jarvis said speaking from Zane Grey Estates. “The fire laid down real good last night.”

Early Monday morning, officials were planning the day’s attack, which includes dropping retardant from a large Type 1 helicopter and a smaller Type 3 helicopter.

Jarvis said it appeared from his vantage point that the fire had not topped the Rim.

“I am thinking that unless we get some adverse weather today that they should be mopping it up today,” he said.

The fire is burning in a rough, remote area of Big Canyon near the Highline Trail, roughly 14 miles east of Payson.

The fire is some 200 feet from the Christopher-Kohl’s Fire District line and several hundred more feet from the Hellsgate Fire District.

Hellsgate Fire Chief Gary Hatch said they are watching the fire closely and have sent out a two-person crew with a water tender.

Crews are taking the road that goes into Mead Ranch to access the flames.

Although the fire calmed down significantly overnight, Hatch said it is still putting out smoke.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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