Firefighters dropped fire retardant Monday on the Big Canyon Fire, which has burned its way up the Rim after lightning sparked a blaze near the Highline Trail Sunday.
Fire officials say a forest fire burning just a few miles from the Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery has cooled since it started Sunday.
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 came within a mile from the Zane Grey Estates cabin community, but will likely not get any closer.
“It is looking pretty good this morning,” Jarvis said speaking from Zane Grey Estates. “The fire laid down real good last night.”
Forest Service officials have temporarily closed the area around the fire, which stretches up to the Rim and down to the Highline Trail.
Crews have been fighting the fire from the ground and from the sky, dropping retardant from a large Type 1 helicopter and a smaller Type 3 helicopter and a number of planes.
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 significantly overnight, Hatch said it is still putting out smoke.
Officials say lightning is the cause of the fire.