Big Canyon Fire Grows, Zero Containment

Air tankers drop retardant on the Big Canyon Fire Tuesday.

Air tankers drop retardant on the Big Canyon Fire Tuesday. |

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John Ceja

Air tankers drop retardant on the Big Canyon Fire Tuesday.

A fire burning just west of the Tonto Fish Hatchery has grown to 170 acres since it started Sunday.

Although a number of aircraft attacked the blaze from the sky Monday and Tuesday, the fire remains at zero percent containment, officials said Tuesday night.

“The east flank was tested today (Tuesday) with some interior runs at the fire. The flank held,” said Incident Commander Dave Ramirez. “We will improve and hold direct line on the east flank, implement indirect line construction on the west flank, and continue prep work on Forest Road 300. Today’s fire activity again was moderate, with ground fuels burning hot, low spotting due to recent rain, occasional torching. We continue to make good progress.”

The lightning-caused fire is burning two miles west of the Tonto Fish Hatchery in the Big Canyon area near the Highline Trail, approximately 14 miles east of Payson in a rough and remote section of the Tonto National Forest, accessible only by air and on foot.

Traffic control on Forest Road 300 continues along with a partial closure of the Highline Trail.

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